Building a Stronger Foundation of Basic Workplace Rights for BC Workers

CCPA-BC Response to the BC Law Institute Consultation Paper on the Employment Standards Act
September 5, 2018
1.54 MB21 pages

The CCPA-BC has a long track record of producing research and policy recommendations on employment standards. We have analyzed in depth the effects of the sweeping changes made in the early 2000s to BC's Employment Standards Act that affected vulnerable workers in particular and we have identified a series of reforms that would address the problems our research exposed.

The extensive research that CCPA-BC has published on workplace rights in BC reveals significant gaps in the current Employment Standards Act and serious problems with the existing enforcement practices that leave many workers unprotected. The status quo is failing too many vulnerable workers. Major reforms to BC’s employment standards and their enforcement are needed to establish a strong foundation of basic workplace rights and protections that meaningfully apply to everyone.

This brief represents our response to the BC Law Institute Consultation Paper on the Employment Standards Act. It highlights key findings from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ research on workplace rights and outlines key recommendations for reform. It is our assessment that the BC Law Institute Consultation Report makes some useful recommendations that would represent improvements to existing employment standards, however, the report is notably less ambitious than the recent Ontario Changing Workplaces Review and does not go nearly far enough to address the challenges faced by vulnerable workers in BC, particularly those employed in precarious sectors.