Seasonal Worker Series (Part 3): Special Rules for Special Industries

By Geoff Mason.

(Revised June 2018)

Last month, we continued my 5-part blog series on summer employment with a focus on things to consider when hiring young employees. In today’s post (Part 3), I highlight some of the special rules that apply to certain industries that are especially active during the summer.

The summer brings a surge in work and a corresponding demand in labour for many industries across British Columbia. I have many friends who got their first taste of employment tree-planting or working at construction sites over the summer months. These industries and a number of others are subject to special rules under BCs employment standards regime.

Below, I discuss three of these industries in particular and the special rules under the Employment Standards Act (ESA) and Regulation that apply to their employment relationships:

  1. Silviculture Workers (for example, tree planters)
  • Costs & accommodation: An employer may charge a silviculture worker up to $25 for camp costs and other accommodation as long as the employee agrees to this in writing. If the employee stays at a motel, the employer may charge the employee for the actual cost of the accommodation.
  • Scheduling: These workers are may not work more than five days consecutively without a day off. They are also entitled to at least two consecutive days off or eight total days off each month.
  1. Construction Workers
  •  Termination Pay Exclusions: Section 63 of the Employment Standards Act (ESA) entitles employees to notice or payment in lieu of notice (based on their length of service) when their employment is terminated. Construction workers are excluded from these provisions.
  • Group Termination Exclusions: Section 64 of the ESA requires employers to abide by certain rules when dismissing large groups of employees. Construction workers are also excluded from these provisions.
  1. Live-in Camp Leaders
  •  Minimum daily wage: A live-in camp leader is entitled to a minimum wage of $101.24 for each day or part day worked (as of June 1, 2018). This differs from the general minimum wage requirement, which entitles employees to $12.65 per hour (as of June 1, 2018).
  • Hours of work and overtime exclusions: Part 4 of the ESA sets out general rules relating to employees’ hours of work and overtime. For example, an employee must be paid overtime if they work more than 8 hours a day and must not work more than 5 hours consecutively without a meal break. Live-in camp leaders are excluded from Part 4 of the ESA in its entirety.

There are several other employment categories that are subject to special rules under the employment standards regime, many of which experience an uptick in summer employment. These include:

  • Life guards
  • Wilderness and hunting guides
  • Summer camps and Day camps
  • Boat charters
  • Fishing vessels
  • Farm workers
  • Baby sitters

Employers and employees both can learn more about these special rules by visiting the Employment Standards website here.

Have questions about hiring seasonal employees? Contact us!


NOT LEGAL ADVICE. Information made available on the Kent Employment Law website in any form is for information purposes only. It is not, and should not be taken as, legal advice. You should not rely on, or take or fail to take any action, based upon this information. Never disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking legal advice because of something you have read on this website. One of our lawyers would be pleased to discuss any specific legal concerns you may have.


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