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Employment law requirements when hiring employees

Hiring employees, either directly or through employment agencies, must comply with all applicable laws. In British Columbia, the BC Employment Standards Act protects the rights of employees by mandating that employees meet certain minimum standards with respect to terms of employment. 

Even if workers have agreed to non-standard employment contracts, whether written or verbal, the Employment Standards Act enforces minimum standards that cannot be circumvented using a contract. These standards include certain rules around work hours, minimum wage, vacation pay and time, and statutory holidays. Employers hiring employees must be mindful of these minimum standards even though some industries and positions may be exempt from portions of the Employment Standards Act.

Under no circumstances may employees provide false information or misrepresent the employment conditions, duties or wages. These aspects of the job must be clear and truthful in any employment offer or other means used to attract potential employees. If a new employee’s performance does not meet the employer’s expectations, the employment may be terminated, but the employer is prohibited from lowering the wage that was agreed upon at the outset of employment.

Employment law can be complicated even at the very beginning of an employment relationship. Misunderstandings or misrepresentations may develop into disputes that could harm both parties. For this reason, many British Columbia business owners retain the services of an experienced employment law lawyer. A lawyer can provide advice and assist with wage negotiations and drafting employment agreements in compliance with the laws of the Province.

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