Filing a Complaint Factsheet


Before your complaint is accepted you must complete the Self-Help Kit, which is available from any Employment Standards Office and on this web site. Using the Self-Help Kit does not mean a complaint has been filed or accepted by the Branch. If, after trying the kit, you still need to file a complaint, it must be filed within the following time limits:

  • Within six months of the problem taking place (if you still work for the same employer); or
  • Within six months of the day your employment terminated (if you no longer work for the employer).

If you are within 30 days of the end of the six-month period, you should file your complaint with the Employment Standards Branch and then use the Self-Help Kit to resolve your problem.

Except under limited circumstances, the Employment Standards Branch will not accept complaints unless the Self-Help Kit has been used. For more information on exceptions, follow this link.

A complaint must be made in writing and delivered to an office of the Employment Standards Branch. Where possible, any documents which may help with the investigation should be included with the complaint. There is no charge for filing a complaint.

You can file an Employment Standards complaint in one of several ways:

For more information about workplace rights and responsibilities and solving workplace problems please visit the Self Help Information available on this website. If you need more information or help filling out your complaint form, please contact the Employment Standards Branch.

When filing a complaint you may request in writing that your identity be kept confidential. The Branch will not disclose your identity unless the disclosure is necessary for a proceeding under the Act (including an investigation), or the Branch considers the disclosure to be in the public interest.

An employer must not refuse to employ or threaten to dismiss you, or intimidate, discriminate against or otherwise mistreat you for filing a complaint under the Act.

If you work under a collective agreement you should seek assistance from your union.


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.