Employees exempt from the Act

Not all employees are subject to the Act

The Employment Standards Regulation contains exemptions from the Employment Standards Act.  Certain occupations are not subject to the Act at all.  These include:

  • Architects
  • Chartered Accountants
  • Lawyers
  • Chiropractors
  • Dentists and dental surgeons
  • Professional engineers
  • Insurance agents and adjusters
  • Land surveyors
  • Doctors
  • Naturopathic doctors
  • Optometrists
  • Podiatric surgeons
  • Real estate licencees
  • Securities professionals
  • Veterinarians
  • Professional foresters

There are specific rules applying to when these employees may be subject to the Act, which you can view at Section 31 of the Regulation.

Some employees are subject to the Act, but not all the time

The Employment Standards Act applies differently to certain industries and certain occupations.  For example:

  • Resident caretakers and high-tech workers are not entitled to overtime pay under the rules set out in Section 37 of the Act
  • Construction workers who are employed on job sites may not be entitled to statutory notice pay under Section 63 of the Act – however, they may still be entitled to reasonable notice at common law
  • Different rules apply to fish farm workers, foresters, and workers in the transportation sector

It is important to know which parts of the Act apply to your employees.  Some of your employees may be covered by the Act, while others may not be.  For example, a high tech company may employ administrative staff who are fully covered by the Act, developers who are not entitled to overtime under the Act but are otherwise covered, and CPAs in its accounting department who are not covered by the Act at all.

Professionally drafted employment contracts can help you bring consistency to your workplace.

The information provided on this page is a general overview of the exemptions set out in the BC Employment Standards Act and Regulation.  It should not be taken as legal advice.  For answers to specific questions about your workplace obligations, contact EmployRight and speak with one of our employment lawyers.