Minimum age of employment in BC about to be raised from 12 to 16

Oct 14 2021, 10:08 pm

The legal minimum age for employment in BC is currently 12 years old, but as of October 15, the provincial government is bringing the rules in line with international standards.

The new rules will mean employers can only hire youth 16 years of age or older, but there will still be certain jobs that those under 16 can be hired for.

BC is making this change in an effort to protect young workers.

Legislative changes to the employment standards act in 2019 was the first step in making this change.

As of October 15, children under 16 years of age will not be able to do the following:

  • Be required to work during school hours
  • Work more than 4 hours on school days
  • Work more than 7 hours on a non-school day
  • Work more than 20 hours in a week with 5 school days
  • Work more than 35 hours a week when school is not in session

For anyone under 12, employers will need a permit unless the child is performing in the entertainment industry.

Employers will need a permit for those aged 12 and 13 unless:

  • The child will be working as a camp assistant, assistant coach, referee or umpire and will not be performing any tasks listed in not light work
  • The child is working for a family owned business and will not be performing any tasks listed in not light work
  • The child will be performing in the entertainment industry

For anyone 14 and 15, employers need a permit unless:

  • The child will be working as a camp assistant, assistant coach, referee or umpire and will not be performing any tasks listed in not light work
  • The child is working for a family owned business and will not be performing any tasks listed in not light work
  • The child will be performing in the entertainment industry
  • The child will be doing light work only

Employers who hire anyone 16 and older must abide by all employment standards for regular employees and meet WorkSafeBC requirements for young workers under 25-years-old.

Amir AliAmir Ali

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