Interpretation Guidelines Manual
British Columbia Employment Standards Act and Regulations

Employment Standards Regulation - Part 7 - Variances and Exclusions

ESR Section 30 - How to apply for a variance

Contents:

Summary
Text of Legislation
Policy Interpretation
Related Information


Summary

This section explains what must be included in a letter to the director requesting a variance.

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Text of Legislation

30. (1) To apply under section 72 of the Act for a variance, a letter must be delivered to the director.

(2) The letter must be signed by the employer and a majority of the employees who will be affected by the variance and must include the following:
(a) the provision of the Act the director is requested to vary;

(b) the variance requested;

(c) the duration of the variance;

(d) the reason for requesting the variance;

(e) the employer's name, address and telephone number;

(f) the name and home phone number of each employee who signs the letter.

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Policy Interpretation

Under s.72 of the Act, an employer and any of their employees may join in a written application to the director for a variance in the form of a letter, in accordance with this Regulation. Section 72 of the Act also identifies the only provisions of the Act that the director may consider for purposes of granting a variance.

Under this section of the Regulation, a letter must be delivered to one of the director’s Employment Standards Branch offices, containing the following information:
  • the provision of the Act that the director is being requested to vary
  • details of the terms of the variance being requested (i.e., an exact work schedule must be provided where applicable.)
  • the duration of the variance
  • the reasons for requesting the variance
  • the employer’s name, address and telephone number
  • the name and home number of each employee who signs the letter
An employee list that includes the names of all employees who will be affected by the variance application must be provided. The variance application must also include the signatures of a majority of the employees who will be affected.

Section 73 of the Act provides for an explanation of the conditions that the Director will consider when deciding whether to approve a variance application.

The Director enforces the minimum standards of employment in the workplaces of employees covered by the Act. Although the Act allows employers and employees to make an application for a variance of the provisions set out in s.72, the authority to grant a variance is exclusively that of the Director.

The Director must ensure that a variance is not inconsistent with the purposes of the Act. Section 2 of the Act ensures that employees receive at least basic standards of compensation and conditions of employment.

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Related Information

Related sections of the Act or Regulation Other:

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


Factsheets

Variances

Collective Agreements and the Employment Standards Act

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