Modernizing the Employment Standards Act – Results

Engagement Summary

After public engagement and consideration of the feedback received, amendments to the Employment Standards Act were introduced on April 29, 2019.

The Employment Standards Act is important legislation that sets minimum standards for workplaces in B.C. However, before these last amendments, it had been 15 years since any major changes were made to the Act and 25 years since government’s last comprehensive review.

To reflect modern workplaces and to ensure that employment standards are evenly applied and enforced, the Ministry of Labour is making changes to the Act. As part of this, recommendations have been considered from several groups, including the BC Employment Standards Coalition, the BC Federation of Labour, and the BC Law Institute, along with input from workers, employers and the public.

Through this engagement, government heard from people on the first areas of focus for future changes to the Act. The consultation was based on this proposal paper, which outlines six themes for potentially modernizing the Act:

  • Theme 1 – Increasing protection of child workers
  • Theme 2 – Transforming the Employment Standards Branch
  • Theme 3 – Supporting families through difficult times with job-protected leaves of absence
  • Theme 4 – Strengthening workers’ ability to recover wages / monies owed
  • Theme 5 – Clarifying hours of work and overtime standards
  • Theme 6 – Improving fairness for terminated workers


Engagement Timeframe

February 28 to March 31, 2019

Input Received
  • Over 1,000 submissions were received.


Input leads to action:

The input was considered, alongside input from groups noted above, and informed government’s decisions on the April 29 amendments, as well as being considered as part of future updates to the Act.