May 1, 2019
Children can continue to help on their family’s farm, even as the province moves to bar youth under the age of 16 from dangerous occupations.
“We are moving the minimum age from 12 years to 16 years,” BC labour minister Harry Bains said April 29, announcing a host of amendments to the Employment Standards Act. Youth aged 14 and 15 will be able to hold employment with parental consent.
“Those who are 14 and 15 years, they can work at light duty, which will be described through regulations later, but they will not be allowed to work in dangerous occupations like construction, mining, and others,” said Bains.
A BC Law Institute report on the Employment Standards Act last year noted that WorkSafeBC statistics indicate that there wasn’t a year between 2005 and 2016 that workers aged 14 years and under hadn’t suffered an injury severe enough to qualify them for a long-term disability pension. The report didn’t provide a breakdown indicating the sectors employing those youth.
The deaths of three sisters in a bin of canola in Alberta in October 2015 was followed by that province introducing Bill 6, which made farms and ranches subject to the province’s workplace safety laws. The bill provoked concern that children wouldn’t be allowed to help parents with farm chores.
The final bill clarified this was not the case, and a submission by the BC Agriculture Council to the province during consultations regarding the BC legislation pointed out that Alberta’s youth employment rules “do not apply on farms and ranches.”
Bains confirmed this isn’t the intent of the new BC rules, which specifically target paid employment.
“They can still work to help out the household chores or work on their family farm,” he said. “[It’s] the employer-employee relationship we’re talking about.”
Known as Bill 8, the proposed legislation also requires the licensing of farm labour contractors.
Vol. 105 Issue 5
STORIES IN THIS EDITION
What on earth?
Opposition slams ALC bill
Sidebar: Protection & pushback
Editorial: Truth in labelling
Back Forty: So you don’t believe in climate change
Viewpoint: Don’t blame the cows for global warming
Ag council’s lobbying efforts produce results
Learning a new skill
Foundation’s nest egg for funding projects increases
Province will hold the line on piece rates
New CEO aims to kindle team spirit at co-op
FIRB decision prompts rethink of pricing scheme
Beekeepers see potential in technology transfer
AgSafe markes quarter century
Raspberries hit hard by harsh February
Blueberry growers anxious for new varieties
Biological controls for pests in demand
Sidebar: Pesticides in play
Growers urged to focus on fresh
Westgen celebrates 75 years of excellence
Top seller was no-show at Holstein sale
Spring show attracts exhibitors from Quebec
Cheesemakers unite to grow niche market
Range use permits under greater scrutiny
Sidebar: Range use plans go digital
Market Musings: Top bulls sell for top dollar at spring sales
Grapegrowers share sustainability objectives
Grape specialist honoured for dedication
Hazelnut production expands across BC
Sidebar: Pest pressures
Supporters take to AITC’s Sips & Sprouts
Research: Cultured meat fails to impress researchers
UAVs undergo testing for pesticide delivery
Sustainability goes beyond saving farmland
Father and daughter roll with the last of the steel wheels
Woodshed: Susan Henderson is warming to country life
Wannabe: Farming is more than just a job
Surplus, cull fruit finds new purpose as tasty snacks
Jude’s Kitchen: Special food for special moms