Government releases employment standards summary

VICTORIA – The Minister of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government has released a report summarizing the outcome of the recentengagement process on the future of B.C.’s employment standards, including minimum wage.

Between December 2010 and February 2011, senior ministry staff engaged in a dialogue with groups and organizations representing stakeholders including employees, employers and with some academic experts to discuss how B.C.’s employment standards could be modernized to reflect the needs of the 21st century workplace. More than 30 stakeholder groups provided high-level input that will help inform future government action on the following themes:

* The role and purpose of the minimum wage in today’s economy, and how it should be established and adjusted.

* Enhancing flexibility for employees and employers.

* Clarifying and simplifying standards.

* Improving the way we provide employment standards information to employees and employers.

* Improving the enforcement of employment standards.

* Ensuring quicker complaint hearings and determinations.

The information in the summary has already proved invaluable in helping guide the decision to increase the provincial minimum wage to $10.25 an hour by May 1, 2012, a commitment made in Premier Christy Clark’s

Family First Agenda. Government will continue to review employment standards issues and consider the input and advice from stakeholders in the months ahead.

The Employment Standards Act and regulation establish minimum standards for most British Columbia workplaces, such as minimum wage, leave entitlements and conditions of employment.

To read the summary, please visit: http://www.labour.gov.bc.ca/esb/