B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains. (Hansard TV)

B.C. set to raise working age from 12 to 16, except for ‘light work’ at 14

NDP moves to tighten rules for sharing tips in restaurants, pubs

B.C. is changing its employment standards law to protect younger workers from dangerous jobs, and strengthen employees’ ability to take unpaid leave to search for a home or deal with other personal issues.

Labour Minister Harry Bains introduced changes in the B.C. legislature Monday that prohibits employers from withholding of tips from employees or deducting amounts from them. A new framework will allow tip pooling, but employers can only get a share when they do the same work as the other people in the pool.

The legislation raises the minimum age for working from 12 to 16, except for “light work” jobs such as stocking shelves at a grocery store, which 14- and 15-year-olds would still be able to do.

Bains said the changes will continue to allow young people to work on a family farm, or have a newspaper delivery route, and there will be an exemption for children to perform in music and entertainment with the permission of their parents. Chores that are not considered formal employment will not be affected, he said.

Bains said WorkSafeBC records in the past 10 years show $5 million paid out in injury claims for children who were doing paid work in hazardous conditions.

The legislation also creates a new system of job-protected unpaid leave for caring for seriously ill family members, and personal issues such as looking for a place to live.

The B.C. Building Trades praised the changes, particularly measures to target what executive director Tom Sigurdson called “organizations operating under the guise of being a trade union” whose agreements may be “substandard” according to the Employment Standards Act.

READ MORE: ‘Progressive’ unions shut out of public construction

READ MORE: Union construction cost competitive, BCBC boss says

“There are a few organizations that purport to be unions but are really nothing more than dues collection agencies,” Sigurdson said. “Those organizations are employer-obedient and do nothing to represent workers’ interests.”

The B.C. Building Trades were given exclusive access for large public construction projects after Premier John Horgan’s government took office in 2017, prompting objections from contractors who work with the Christian Labour Association of Canada and others who are not B.C. Building Trades members. The BCBC consists mainly of U.S.-based international unions.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Strong volleyball culture contributes to Fernie club’s success

Three youth teams make nationals; club to introduce outdoor volleyball this summer

Elk Valley pride groups celebrate milestone

LGBTQ community marks 50 years since decriminalization

GALLERY: First responders in Fernie return baby owl to its nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

VIDEO: Sick eagle released back into wild

Three months after a golden eagle suffering from lead poisoning was found… Continue reading

New program to get Elk Valley youth into workforce

Elk Valley once again facing labour shortage with over 150 job vacancies

VIDEO: Protesters in Penticton gather to rally against sleeping-on-sidewalk bylaw

The proposed bylaw would outlaw sitting or lying on the city’s downtown sidewalks

Sparwood Save-On-Foods partners with Food Share

A Sparwood supermarket is on its way to becoming waste free after… Continue reading

Sparwood coal mine to expand in October

Baldy Ridge Extension to extend life of EVO until 2045, increase the disturbance area by 862ha

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Kootenay man arrested and charged in 2015 murder

Nathaniel Jessup 32 of Creston has been charged with the second-degree murder of Katherine McAdam and offering an indignity to a body.

Most Read