Labour and employment laws in Canada are complex, and anyone dealing with an employment law issue at the federal or provincial level should have straightforward legal advice.
One particularly complex issue that continues to come up in Vancouver is the question of identifying the “real employer” when a business utilizes a temporary employment agency to meet the business’s need for workers. Canadian law is more easily applied to the traditional bipartite relationship between an employer and an employee than to the tripartite relationship that exists between the employment agency, the client business and the worker.
Numerous factors have to be considered when identifying the real employer, and the question of who has the most control over the work done by the employee is of high importance. In other words, who controls what work is done and when, where and how the work is done?
Other important questions to ask:
- Who does the employee perceive to be the employer?
- Did one party intend to establish an employee/employer relationship?
- Who is responsible for paying the employee?
- Who has the authority to dismiss the employee?
- Who was responsible for recruiting, hiring and training?
- Who has the authority to impose discipline?
- Who can authorize time off and overtime?
Identifying the real employer in a tripartite employment relationship requires a comprehensive consideration of the facts. Disputes sometimes arise over these matters, and employers and employees alike should be aware of their legal options.
If you would like to learn more about labour law issues in BC, then the employment law website of Overholt Law LLP is a good place to start.