Are You Excluded from the Employment Standards Act?

The Employment Standards Act sets out the minimum standards for wages and working conditions in British Columbia. The Act governs an employee’s basic rights to things such as the minimum wage, unpaid leave from work, and vacation pay.

However, certain professions are excluded from the Employment Standards Acts entirely, while others are partially excluded.

Excluded Professions

Some professions are excluded from the Employment Standards Act, including –

  • Architects
  • Accountants
  • Lawyers
  • Chiropractors
  • Dental surgeons
  • Engineers
  • Insurance agents or adjusters
  • Land surveyors
  • Physicians and surgeons
  • Naturopaths
  • Optometrists
  • Podiatrists
  • Licenced realtors
  • Vets
  • Professional foresters
  • Persons registered under Section 35 of the Securities Act

Partial Exclusions

Other people can also be excluded under certain conditions, such as students and sitters.

In addition, if a union collective agreement has better terms than the Employment Standards Act, the agreement will supersede the Act.

Some occupations are partially excluded from the Employment Standards Act, meaning some of the laws apply to these professions, but others do not. Generally, each sector will also have their own set of regulations. These include:

  • Truck drivers
  • Oil and gas workers
  • Silviculture workers
  • Farm workers
  • Taxi drivers
  • Managers

Federally regulated employees

Most employees in BC are provincially regulated. However, a select group of people work in federally regulated industries. These are governed by the Canada Labour Code, rather than the BC Employment Standards Act, including:

  • Government of Canada
  • Armed Forces
  • Banks (but not credit unions, which are provincially regulated)
  • Cross-provincial trucking
  • Federal Crown corporations
  • Airlines and railways (but not BC Rail)
  • Television, telephone, cable and radio
  • Marine shipping
  • Longshoring
  • Grain elevators

What does this mean for employees and workers?

Just because you are excluded from the Employment Standards Act does not necessarily mean that you are not protected as a worker or employee. Other laws regulations apply to those who are excluded from the Act, while federal and provincial human rights legislation also protect many aspects of workplace relationships.

If you feel your rights have been breached at work, do not hesitate to seek independent legal advice, even if you suspect that you are excluded from the Employment Standards Act. An employment lawyer can advise you about which laws apply to you, and what your options are to resolve your dispute, whether you are subject to the BC Employment Standards Act or not.

Speak to an employment lawyer

If you have been fired or feel that your rights have been violated, it is important to seek legal advice without delay. Often there are strict time limits relating to employment law issues, so it is best to speak to an employment lawyer as soon as possible.

To find out more about how we can help you with your employment law issue, please do not hesitate to contact us at North Shore Law LLP today.

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