At present, the BC Employment Standards Coalition is working on the following legislative proposals and campaigns related to the BC Employment Standards Act.
We have developed model legislation papers on the following issues:
- Minimum Wages
- Tips and Gratuities
- Hours of Work & Overtime
- Statutory Holidays with Pay
- Migrant Worker Recruitment & Protection Model Legislation
With respect to minimum piece rate based wages for Farmworkers engaged in the Hand Harvesting of 15 different agricultural products, during the Ministry of Labour’s review of this piece rate regulation in the fall of 2011, Coalition members met with the Ministry on December 8, 2011 and advocated for the elimination of this piece rate system based on the following Background On Hand Harvester Piece Rates (Dec. 7, 2011).
On March 9, 2012 the Minister of Labour announced, to the shock of all farmworker advocates, that the hand harvester piece rate regulation is not going to be changed, thereby freezing these farmworker minimum wages indefinately so that they will not be increased as of November 1, 2011 and May 1, 2012 – dates when the general hourly minimum wage is increased.
In April 2012 the BC Employment Standards Coalition issued a critique of this government decision titled Minimum Wages for Hand Harvesting Farmworkers Frozen Again by BC Government and launched a Petition urging the BC Government to abolish the Employment Standards Regulation that excludes certain farm workers from the hourly minimum wage regulation.
In January 2013 the Coalition submitted a second batch of signed petitions to Minister of Labour Pat Bell calling for the abolition of the hand harvester minimum wage provisions, bringing the total number of petitions submitted to 409, and commenting on the Minister’s December 18, 2012 reply to the first batch of signed petitions submitted to him: Letter to Minister of Labour Pat Bell (Jan. 5, 2013). Also on this issue, UBC Professor Emeritus Mark Thompson wrote to the Minister of Labour in April 2012: Mark Thompson’s Letter to Minister re Wages Agricultural Workers.
With respect to new legislation to increase the rights and protections for Temporary Foreign Workers, we have developed a comprehensive Backgrounder on Migrant Worker Recruitment & Protection to explain the need for legislation for this large and growing vulnerable segment of the BC workforce, and Migrant Worker Recruitment & Protection Model Legislation that incorporates the best protections and rights found in the employment standards legislation in other provinces such as Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Alberta and Quebec, and in International Labour Organization conventions and resolutions.
Employment of Children
With respect to new legislation to protect children from being exploited in the workplace, we have developed the following in draft form: Real Child Worker Protection Legislation and Regulation. We are working to improve it and would love your comments and suggestions! Please email David Fairey if you have any ideas or contributions.
Other draft legislation will be posted soon and your comments and suggestions for change invited.