BC Labour Relations Legislation

BC labour relations covers a number of labour laws and employment law legislation (ACTS), notably:

  • British Columbia Labour Relations Code (LRC).
  • British Columbia Public Education Labour Relations Act.
  • British Columbia Public Service Labour Relations Act.
  • British Columbia Employment Standards Act.

British Columbia Labour Relations Code (LRC)

The BC Labour Relations Code (LRC) legislation governs the relationship between employers and their employees who are represented by a union (for non-union workers see the Employment Standards Act below). This legislation covers the establishment of union representation, collective bargaining, conflict, and grievance resolutions. If you are a member of a union then this law relates to your employment situation.

The Labour Relations Code deals with legislation covering the following employment issues in a unionized workplace:

  1. Introductory Provisions
  2. Rights, Duties and Unfair Labour Practices
  3. Acquisition and Termination of Bargaining Rights
  4. Collective Bargaining Procedures
  5. Strikes, Lockouts and Picketing
  6. Essential Services
  7. Mediation and Disputes Resolution
  8. Arbitration Procedures
  9. Labour Relations Board
  10. Miscellaneous
  11. Transitional Provision

The BC Labour Relations Code (LRC), (commonly called Labour Relations Act), is the BC labour code that regulates the relationship between employers, their workers, and the unions representing their workers. It deals with the requirements for establishing union representation, collective bargaining and applying the terms of the collective agreement.

One of the fundamental rights of the LRC is the right of every employee to be a member of a trade union, and the right of an employer to be a member of an employers' organization.

All BC employees and their employers, including dependent contractors, who are regulated by a collective agreement, are covered under the LRC with some inclusions and exclusions.

Under the LRC the following employees are excluded:

  • Individuals functioning as a manager or supervisor;
  • Individuals working in a confidential capacity in areas relating to labour relations or personnel.

For more information on these: BCLRB's Inclusion In and Exclusion From...


  • The labour-management relationship in the provincial public service is regulated under the Public Service Labour Relations Act; and
  • the collective bargaining process in the public school system is governed under the Public Education Labour Relations Act;
  • The labour-management relationship in federally regulated industries are covered under the Canada Labour Code;
  • Employers in non-unionized sectors are also subject to certain applicable provisions of the LRC, namely those dealing with protecting the rights of employees (i.e. the rights of employees seeking unionization).

Fundamental Rights under the BC Labour Relations Code

One of the fundamental rights of the LRC is the right of every employee to be a member of a trade union, and the right of an employer to be a member of an employers' organization.

Who Gets Covered Under the LRC?

  • Acquisition of Bargaining Rights
  • Revocation of Bargaining Rights
  • Successor Rights and Obligations
  • Voting
  • Councils of Trade Unions
  • Employers' Organizations
  • General
  • Joint Consultation and Adjustment Plans
  • First Collective Agreement
  • Mediation and Fact Finding
  • Commissions and Councils
  • Definitions and Purpose
  • Collective Agreement Arbitration Bureau
  • Collective Agreement Provisions
  • Expedited Arbitration
  • Special Officer

The Labour Relations Board

The British Columbia Labour Relations Board, established as an independent administrative tribunal by the Labour Relations Code, has full administrative authority over the British Columbia labour laws that fall under the BC labour relations code Code.

Note: If you work in a unionized workplace, the BC Labour Relations Board regulates all issues dealing with wages and working conditions.

Public Education Labour Relations Act
[RSBC 1996] Chapter 382

Governs collective bargaining in the BC public school system.

1. Introductory Provisions

  • Definitions
  • Purpose
  • Application of Labour Relations Code

2. Bargaining Structure

  • Employer bargaining agent
  • Teacher bargaining unit
  • Employee bargaining agent

3. Collective Bargaining

  • Content of collective agreement
  • Agreements on local matters

4. Regulations

  • Power to make regulations

5. Transitional

  • Transitional. collective agreements
  • Transitional. accreditations
  • Transitional. regulations

Schedule 1
Schedule 2

Public Service Labour Relations Act
[RSBC 1996] Chapter 388

This aspect of BC labour relations covers labour legislation dealing with public service workers. It covers the following:

  • Definitions
  • Effect of Labour Relations Code
  • Bargaining agent for government
  • Bargaining units
  • Certification
  • Unfair labour practices
  • Change of certification
  • Collective bargaining
  • Renewal or revision of collective agreement
  • Form of collective agreements
  • Exclusions from collective agreement
  • Content of collective agreement
  • Union security
  • Settlement of disputes
  • Notice of technological change
  • No notice of future technological change
  • No notice of current technological change
  • Report
  • Power to make regulations
  • Offence and penalty
  • Notices
  • Copies to be filed
  • Other Acts

BC Employment Standards Act (ESA) and the Employment Standards Regulation (ESR)

The BC Employment Standards Act (ESA) and the Employment Standards Regulation (ESR) govern the employment relationship between an employer and employees where the employees do not belong to a union. The vast majority of workers in BC are protected under this employment standards legislation.

The BC Employment Standards Act deals with the following employment issues:

  • Purposes and Scope of this Act
  • Hiring Employees/Domestics
  • Requirements for Payment of Wages, Special Clothing and Records
  • Hours of Work, Meal Breaks and Overtime
  • Statutory Holidays and Holiday Pay
  • Special Types of Leave and Jury Duty
  • Annual Vacation and Vacation Pay
  • Termination of Employment and Payments Due
  • Variances
  • Employee Complaints, Investigations and Determinations
  • Enforcement of Employment Standards Act
  • Employment Standards Tribunal
  • Appeals
  • General Provisions
  • Transitional and Consequential Provisions

Note: If you work in a non-unionized workplace, then the Employment Standards Act (ESA), and the Employment Standards Regulation (ESR) cover the laws and regulations dealing with working conditions such as:

  • minimum wages
  • hours of work
  • overtime
  • vacation
  • meal breaks
  • temporary foreign workers, etc., and much more

Contact Details for BC Employment Standards Branches

For more information you can contact a local BC Employment Standards Branch:

In British Columbia (Toll free) at 1-800-663-3316

Victoria: 200-880 Douglas St, Tel: 250-952-0469

Richmond & Vancouver: 250-4600 Jacombs Rd, Richmond, BC V6V 3B1

Surrey: 101-10475 - 138 Street, Tel: 604-586-4251

Prince George: 102-1577 7th Avenue, Tel: 250-565-6120

Dawson Creek: 1201-103rd Avenue, Tel: 250-784-2390

Nelson: 310 Ward Street, Tel: 250-354-6550

Kelowna: 102-1690 Powick Road, Tel: 250-861-7404

Nanaimo: 2nd Floor, 6475 Metral Dr., Tel: 250-390-6186

Terrace: 108-3220 Eby Street, Tel: 250-638-6525

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