Interpretation Guidelines Manual
British Columbia Employment Standards Act and Regulations

Employment Standards Act Part 2 - Hiring Employees

ESA Section 13 - Farm labour contractors must be licensed

Contents:

Summary
Text of Legislation
Policy Interpretation
Related Information


Summary

This section requires that a farm labour contractor be licensed and explains the consequences to an employer who uses the services of an unlicensed farm labour contractor.

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Text of Legislation

13. (1) A person must not act as a farm labour contractor unless the person is licensed under this Act.

(2) A person who engages the services of an unlicensed farm labour contractor is deemed for the purposes of this Act to be the employer of the farm labour contractor's employees.

(3) A person must not engage the services of a farm labour contractor unless the farm labour contractor is licensed under this Act.

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Policy Interpretation

Subsection (1)

A licensed farm labour contractor is considered to be the employer of the farm workers who perform work for that contractor. Under s.1 of the Employment Standards Act, a person who uses the services of a farm labour contractor is considered to be a “producer”.

Subsection (2)

A producer who engages the services of an unlicensed farm labour contractor is considered to be the employer of the farm workers, for the purposes of this Act, and is liable for any unpaid wages under s.30 of the Act.

Note: Under s.39 of the Employment Standards Regulation, s.13 of the Act does not apply to a person whose employees work for, or under the control or direction of, another person in connection to silviculture or spraying or pruning fruit trees.
Example

Joe is a farm labour contractor. He provided his employees to a producer from March 1, 2007 to October 31, 2007 but did not obtain a farm labour contractor license until April 1, 2007.

Joe was in contravention of the Act from March 1 – March 31, 2007 and is subject to penalties under the Act.

The producer may be deemed to be the employer of the employees from March 1 to March 31, 2007 and may be liable for all unpaid wages.

Subsection (3)

A producer who engages the services of an unlicensed farm labour contractor may be subject to a penalty under the Act.

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Related Information

Related sections of the Act or Regulation Other

See www.labour.gov.bc.ca/esb/facshts/

For a list of licensed farm labour contractors refer to the Agriculture section of this site.

Factsheet

Farm workers (English,Punjabi, Hindi, French, Spanish)

Farm Labour Contractors (English) (Punjabi)