Hazardous work protections for youth



What is this engagement about?

Workplace health and safety remains a priority for this government and the Province would like to hear from British Columbians about whether young workers under 19 should be restricted from certain types of hazardous work. 

Your input will help inform the development of a regulation that will define which types of work are too hazardous for young people under the age of 19. The survey was open from April 21, 2022 to June 17, 2022.

Government has been strengthening B.C.’s employment laws to better protect young people at work. The general working age has been increased from 12 to 16, and “light work” has been defined for those jobs that can be safely performed by children who are 14 and 15, with parental permission. The changes also allow children 12 and over to work for a family business or farm, provided the tasks are safe as set out in the Employment Standards Regulation.

These changes have brought B.C. into alignment with international labour standards aimed at protecting children from dangerous or unsuitable work.

The final phase of these changes, which is the subject of this public engagement, is to examine and define what kinds of work should be considered too hazardous for young workers under the age of 16, or up to under age 19 if a higher minimum age than 16 is specified for a particular type of hazardous work.

The Ministry of Labour has reviewed hazardous work regulations in other Canadian jurisdictions, as well as WorkSafeBC injury statistics for adult and young workers, and identified a number of jobs to consider placing under a hazardous work regulation. If a type of work is identified as hazardous and included in the regulation, an employer would not be permitted to employ a person younger than the minimum age (16, 17, 18 or 19) specified for that job.

Details of the Engagement

Date: April 21, 2022 to June 17, 2022

Category: Health & Safety

Status: Closed

Location: Province-wide