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Who is Excluded from the Employment Standards Act?

Employment Law | January 21, 2021

The Employment Standards Act was designed to protect employees and employers throughout British Columbia by outlining the required standards for wages and working conditions; however, there are several occupations and types of employees to which it does not apply. These excluded professions often operate under their own bylaws that outline employment regulations for their respective fields. At Linley Welwood, our employment lawyers are able to help you ensure that your rights are being respected whether your profession is protected by the Employment Standards Act or not, so make sure that you reach out to our experienced team if you feel like you are being treated unfairly in your workplace.

Who is Not Included in the Employment Standards Act?

While some workers are completely excluded from the protection of the Employment Standards Act, others are only exempt from certain parts of it. It is important to know where your profession fits into this Act, as it will determine your rights in the workplace and what options you have to deal with potential problems.

What are my rights as an employee?

Some of the professions that may be excluded from the Employment Standards Act and have their own legislation include:

  • Architects
  • Accountants
  • Legal professionals
  • Chiropractors
  • Dental surgeons
  • Engineers and geoscientists
  • Insurance agents and adjusters
  • Land surveyors
  • Physicians and surgeons
  • Naturopathic physicians
  • Optometrists
  • Podiatrists
  • Realtors
  • Security workers
  • Veterinarians
  • Forestry professionals

Are Independent Contractors Included in the Employment Standards Act?

Because independent contractors are seen as self-employed workers, they do not typically count as employees and are therefore not covered by the Employment Standards Act. Although most independent contractors know their employment status, in many cases it is unclear whether the person in question counts as an independent contractor or an employee. An employment lawyer can help you sort out how you are connected to the business you work for if you feel your rights are being infringed upon.

Other Exceptions from the Employment Standards Act

There are various other circumstances that can exempt an employee from the benefits of the Employment Standards Act. Some of these circumstances include:

  • If an employee is a member of a union
  • Workers in federally regulated fields
  • Students in work-study programs
  • Some types of management positions

If you would like to learn more about who is excluded from the Employment Standards Act in BC, or to find out about our services, please contact the legal team at Linley Welwood.


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