Employment of Young People in the Live Entertainment Industry Factsheet


For the purposes of this factsheet, the live entertainment industry means the performing arts industry that provides live entertainment in theatre, dance, music, opera or circus.

In British Columbia, minimum standards for wages and working conditions for children working in the live entertainment industry are set under the Employment Standards Act and the Employment Standards Regulation.

Consent of parent or guardian

The Act requires that any person who employs a child under the age of 15 obtain written consent from the child’s parent or guardian.  The consent must indicate the child’s date of birth and that the parent or guardian knows where the child is working, the hours of work and the type of work.

The parent or guardian must determine whether the employment situation meets the best interests of the child taking into account the child’s social, physical or educational needs.

The Regulation sets conditions of work for any young person between the ages of 4 – 14 if employed in the live entertainment industry. A child less than four years old may not be employed in the live entertainment industry without the permission of the Director of Employment Standards.

Limits on daily hours

The following limits apply to the number of hours children can work:

  • Children must not be required or allowed to work for more than eight hours in a day on days where there is a performance;
  • Children must not be required or allowed to work for more than eight hours in a day on rehearsal days, except for a maximum of four days for each production they may be required or allowed to work up to 12 hours in a day;
  • Children must not be required or allowed to report to work earlier than 7:00 a.m.; and
  • Children must not be required or allowed to work later than 12:30 a.m.

Hours free from work

Children must receive at least 36 consecutive hours free from work each week, or be paid at least 1½ times the regular wage for hours worked during that 36 hours.

Children must receive at least 12 consecutive hours free from work between each shift worked.

Chaperones

Employers must make sure that every child at a rehearsal or a performance has a chaperone. The chaperone must be:

  • The child’s parent or guardian, if the parent or guardian has reached the age of 19 and is not working as a performer in the same rehearsal or performance, except as a background performer or an extra; or
  • A person who has reached the age of 19, is designated chaperone by the child’s parent or guardian, is not the child’s employer or tutor or an employee of either, and is not working as a performer in the same rehearsal or performance, except as a background performer or extra.

The chaperone cannot be chaperone for more than the number of children specified in the following table:


Age of Child

Number of Children
per Chaperone

4 – 5 years old

6

6 – 9 years old

10

10 – 14 years old

15

Income protection

If a child employed in the live entertainment industry earns more than $1,000 in a week, the employer must remit 25% of any earnings over $1,000 to the Public Guardian and Trustee to hold in trust for the child. For more information, please see the Public Guardian and Trustee factsheet. 


Employment Standards Branch
Province of British Columbia

This factsheet has been prepared for general information purposes. It is not a legal document. Please refer to the Employment Standards Act and Regulation for purposes of interpretation and application of the law. July 2016

For more information, please contact the Employment Standards Branch.