A modern employment standards regime in British Columbia where all workers without exception are assured decent wages and working conditions, and are protected by legislation and a system of effective enforcement that requires their employers to treat them with respect and dignity.
To promote and build public support for strong progressive employment standards legislation and adequately resourced proactive enforcement that responds to the needs of all workers for decent wages and working conditions in correspondence with BC’s changing workforce and the modern need for balance between work, family, personal and civic life.
To paraphrase the employment standards principles endorsed by the Federal Labour Standards Review commissioner Professor Harry W. Authurs in his 2006 report “Fairness at Work”:
BC employment standards should ensure that no matter how limited his or her bargaining power, no worker in British Columbia is offered, accepts or works under conditions that Canadians would not regard as “decent.” No worker should therefore receive a wage that is insufficient to live on; be deprived of the payment of wages or benefits to which they are entitled; be subject to coercion, discrimination, indignity or unwarranted danger in the workplace; or be required to work so many hours that he or she is effectively denied a personal or civic life.
These purposes and principles are consistent with implementation of the International Labour Organization’s Decent Work Agenda:
Work is central to people’s well-being. In addition to providing income, work can pave the way for broader social and economic advancement, strengthening individuals, their families and communities. Such progress, however, hinges on work that is decent. Decent work sums up the aspirations of people in their working lives.
Putting the Decent Work Agenda into practice is achieved through the implementation of the ILO’s four strategic objectives, with gender equality as a cross-cutting objective: Creating Jobs; Guaranteeing Rights at Work; Extending Social Protection; and Promoting Social Dialogue.