Employment Standards Amendment for the Employment of Young People

The British Columbia Ministry of Labour has approved amendments to the Employment Standards Regulation identifying work that is considered too hazardous for children and young people to perform.

The amendments have now been approved and come into force on January 1, 2023.

The regulation completes the work started with the 2019 amendments to the Employment Standards Act, to bring BC into line with international labour standards and other Canadian jurisdictions by ensuring that children and young workers are engaged in safe and age-appropriate work. While the work can safely be undertaken by adults, a level of maturity and judgment is required to properly assess risks and use personal protective equipment and safety controls.

  1. The new regulation prescribes these minimum ages for specific work that is considered hazardous for children and young workers.
  1. The Director of Employment Standards cannot issue a permit for workers to work below the prescribed minimum ages, nor can a parent or guardian give permission.
  2. Students in a secondary school work study, work experience or occupational study class are exempt from these provisions, as are trainees or apprentices registered with the BC Industry Training Authority (SkilledTradesBC).
  3. While the regulation comes into force on January 1, 2023, workers and employers do not need to change a young worker’s duties if the young worker has been performing the same duties prior to January 1, 2023, and will attain the prescribed minimum age by April 1, 2023.
  1. The press release announcing the amendment may be viewed here.
  2. The Order-in-Council is here.
  3. Additional information is available on the Employment Standards Branch website:  
    https://www2.qa.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/employment-standards-advice/employment-standards/hiring/young-people