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BC Employment Standards Act

Update on BC's Minimum Wage

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

As I noted in my previous post, BC's general minimum wage is currently $8 per hour and was last adjusted in November 2001.

The BC Federation of Labour has been calling on the BC Government to eliminate the training wage ($6) and immediately increase BC's minimum wage to at least $10 per hour and index future increases to growth in inflation.

The BC NDP Party has also been calling for the minimum wage to be increased to $10 with future increases being indexed to the cost of living.

The Fraser Institute sees things differently. According to a January 2009 article, their number crunching concludes that an increase in BC's minimum wage to $10 per hour would result in job losses ranging from 11,000 jobs to 52,000 jobs for workers aged 15 to 24.

In light of a February 9, 2009 website update from the BC Ministry of Labour and Citizens' Services, the current minimum wage debate in BC may be somewhat overblown given the workforce realities:  read more »

Alberta's Minimum Wage to Increase on Apri 1, 2009

The Alberta government announced yesterday that the minimum wage in that province will increase to $8.80 effective April 1, 2009.

According to an article in the Globe and Mail, this will move Alberta into second place, at least temporarily, after Ontario.

Ontario's "General Minimum Wage" is currently $8.75, but it will increase to $9.50 effective March 31, 2009. One year later it will increase again to $10.25.

The article further notes that Alberta's minimum wage will soon be surpassed by Saskatchewan's (which increases to $9.25 on May 1, 2009), Quebec's (which increases to $9 on May 1, 2009) and Newfoundland's (which increases to $9 on July 1, 2009).

New Brunswick announced in Janaury 2009 that its minimum wage will increase from $7.75 to $8 effective April 15, 2009 and then to $8.25 on September 1, 2009

After that, British Columbia and PEI will be at the bottom at $8 an hour.

BC last increased its minimum wage on November 1, 2001.

"Transfer of Jurisdiction Handbook on Employment Issues"

The First Nations School Association ("FNSA") has prepared a "Transfer of Jurisdiction Handbook on Employment Issues" (September 11, 2008). As stated in the introduction, the Handbook: aimed mainly at Participating First Nations that will take jurisdiction over education pursuant to the First Nations Jurisdiction over Education in British Columbia Act (Canada), the First Nations Education Act (BC), and various jurisdiction agreements. The purpose is to identify steps that schools and Participating First Nations can take to prepare for the transfer of jurisdiction in connection with employment issues.

The Handbook has three parts:  read more »

Birth father must begin parental leave within 52 weeks after child's birth, not complete it within 52 weeks

The issue in British Columbia Securities Commission v. Burke, 2008 BCSC 1244 was whether:

  • a birth father's parental leave must be completed within 52 weeks after the child's birth, or
  • the leave only needs to begin within 52 weeks after the child's birth.

Section 51(1)(c) of the BC Employment Standards Act provides:

An employee who requests parental leave under this section is entitled to:

- - -

for a birth father, up to 37 consecutive weeks of unpaid leave beginning after the child's birth and within 52 weeks after that event.

The Employment Standards Tribunal had determined that the latter interpretation noted above was the correct one. On judicial review, the Court upheld the Tribunal's decision.  read more »

BC Employment Standards Tribunal issues new Rules of Practice and Procedure

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

The BC Employment Standards Tribunal has issued new Rules of Practice and Procedure. According to this blurb on the BC Government (Administrative Justice Office) website, the Rules were developed: assist in the fair and efficient resolution of appeals from
determinations made by the Director of Employment Standards under the Employment Standards Act. Using the 2005 rules which were developed in consultation with stakeholders as the basis, the new Rules reflect the Tribunal’s practices, changes to the legislation, and comments received from stakeholders.

BC Employment Standards Act leave provisions for military reservists come into effect today

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

Effective today, an employees who is a reservist in the Canadian Forces is entitled to unpaid leave, the details of which are set out in the BC Employment Standards Branch's "Leaves and Jury Duty Fact Sheet":  read more »

Private members bill would amend BC Employment Standards Act to provide work leave for victims of crime

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

NDP MLA Mike Farnworth introduced a private members bill today (Bill M 217 - Victims of Crime Compensation Act) that would amend the BC Employment Standards Act to provide entitlements to victims of crime.

Specifically, the bill would provide an employee with up to 104 weeks (2 years) of unpaid leave if the employee or an immediate family member of the employee suffers:

  • in the case of the employee, serious injury, and
  • in the case of an immediate family member of the employee, death, during or resulting from a criminal offence, that renders the employee unable to hold his or her regular position.

The bill further provides that:  read more »

"The Common Employer"

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

Vancouver lawyer Simon Kent presented a paper entitled "The Common Employer" for the April 2008 Employment Law Conference. The Table of Contents included the following topics:  read more »