Ken Peacock, chief economist at the Business Council of B.C., said in an interview he supports greater restrictions on work for young people. The council’s submission to the B.C. Law Institute’s three-year study of employment standards was in line with the changes in that area, he said.
“I’m hearing there are some challenges and concerns in the agricultural sector, but it’s not intended to limit children working in family businesses,” Peacock said.
The business group is expecting further changes to employment standards in the future, dealing with more sensitive areas such as hours of work, overtime and the status of contractors and part-time workers who don’t have employer-supported benefits.
“One thing we are definitely concerned about is the cumulative impact of all these things. The employment standards, a few pieces of the labour code, business probably can absorb that,” Peacock said.
“But you’ve got changes on both those fronts in terms of labour legislation and the regulations, and then you’ve the employer health tax, the minimum wage going up last year, slated to go up again in June of this year, you’ve got Canada Pension Plan deductions increasing at the federal level. You start adding all these things up and you do wonder whether that’s going to have a dampening impact on job creation and employment, and whether people will opt for contracting arrangements rather than secure employment arrangements.”