The Employment Plan (EP) is the ministry’s key employment planning tool and is the foundation of effective case management by ministry staff in working with clients toward sustainable employment. As a case management tool, it outlines employment objectives for clients and identifies interventions, expected outcomes, and compliance requirements. It also facilitates performance management and accountability reporting.
The EP supports the ministry’s mission and mandate by emphasizing employment before assistance, and by assisting clients to achieve their economic and social potential.
The EP assists clients to find employment, or become more employable by:
- taking into consideration clients’ needs, skills, knowledge, abilities, and present circumstances
- identifying specific activities and timeframes to assist clients in their movement towards independence
- assisting to identify client barriers to immediate employment
- referring clients to appropriate and available programs and services
- setting mandatory reviews to ensure clients achieve the conditions and activities outlined in their EP
The Employment Readiness Information Questionnaire, the Employability Screen, and the Client Employability Profile support the Employment Planning process.
Effective: April 2, 2012
Employment planning is a continuous strategy to assist clients to achieve employment and self-sufficiency.
The EP is the legal document that clients with employment-related obligations must have, when required by the Minister. Because the EP is a legal document, EPs and all amended EPs must be signed by the client and placed on the client file.
An EP is developed for each member of a family unit who has employment-related obligations.
Clients must be advised at application of the requirement to have an EP and must agree to enter into a plan.
Clients with employment-related obligations who do not agree to enter into an EP or who do not comply with its conditions are not eligible for assistance. Where one member of a family unit is non-compliant with the conditions of their EP, the entire family unit is ineligible. If a client fails to sign an amended EP, they are ineligible for assistance.
The ministry can identify clients with employment-related obligations who do not have an active EP.
[For procedures when client refuses to sign an Employment Plan, see Procedure.]
Effective: September 1, 2015
Applicants and recipients with employment-related obligations must have an EP to be eligible for assistance. Clients participating in full-time training through the Single Parent Employment Initiative must have the training program clearly identified in their EP in order to remain eligible for income assistance.
Recipients under 19 years of age are required to have an EP, which focuses first on high school completion.
Where a client has multiple barriers, the EP should focus on addressing those barriers in a logical sequence.
The decision of the ministry to require a client with employment-related obligations to enter into an EP cannot be appealed to a tribunal; however, it may be subject to ministry reconsideration.
Effective: March 21, 2014
Activities entered on the EP must not duplicate employment obligations covered under Section 13 of the Employment and Assistance Act. Clients must submit a Work Search Activity Record (HR0077) or equivalent monthly, or as otherwise directed by the ministry, to demonstrate their work search efforts.
Sanctions for non-compliance with employment-related obligations are different from sanctions for non-compliance with conditions of an employment plan. [see Related Links – Sanctions for more information]
EPs at Application
An EP must be completed immediately after the application for assistance has been approved for all clients with employment-related obligations. This includes applications for hardship assistance, except for applications for Immediate Needs – Work Search Required. Staff must ensure that clients understand the conditions of the EP, and that complying with the provisions of the EP is a condition of eligibility.
[For persons released from correctional institutions, see Related Links – Immediate Needs – Work Search Required – Policy – Special Circumstances.]
EPs Following Application
In rare circumstances, EPs will not be completed immediately after the application for assistance has been approved (e.g., remote application), urgent needs that prevent immediately developing an EP (e.g., sick child who needs medication), cases of extreme distress (e.g., fleeing an abusive relationship), etc. Where clients do not attend the scheduled appointment or complete their EP within one calendar week of the application approval date, their cheque must be immediately signalled.
A valid, signed EP, when required by the Minister, is a condition of eligibility, and MUST be in place for every client with employment-related obligations.
EPs at File Transfer
The EP must be reviewed whenever a case is transferred from one Employment and Assistance Centre to another. When a client with employment-related obligations moves into a new community, the ministry will provide the client with information regarding programs, resources, and employment opportunities available in their new community.
The EP is a legal document, and any changes to the conditions of the EP are considered an amendment. The most recently approved EP amendment must be considered the active document, which the client must follow. The EP and each subsequent EP amendment must be signed by the client and placed on the client file. All amendmentsare retained as historical records on the system.
Whenever an EP is amended, the client must sign the amendment. In situations where an immediate signature is not practical, alternate arrangements can be made by ministry staff to obtain the client's signature in a timely manner. If a client refuses to enter into an amended employment plan, they are ineligible for assistance.
Clients with employment-related obligations MUST have an active EP and they MUST comply with the conditions of that EP.
Regular ongoing reviews of the active EP monitor client progress to ensure compliance. The EP must be monitored as per the Employment Plan Standards (EP Standards) to support clients in achieving independence in the shortest possible timeframe, and to ensure compliance with and reporting of the required activities.
All comments related to the EP review, e.g., work search, attendance at programs, etc., must be listed in the system under Employment / Independence. Information related to barriers must be included in the system under Case Contact Medical / Behavioural sub-view tab. This will ensure that key data is captured.
Employment Plan Standards
The ministry has developed EP Standards to implement policy concerning minimum EP review requirements and compliance. These Standards identify:
- Mandatory minimum review requirements and timeframes
- Client reporting requirements
- Review procedures for employment programs
- Procedures and standards for assessing compliance: This section includes assessing and verifying the legitimacy of mitigating circumstances for non-compliance
- Procedures and standards for applying sanctions for non-compliance. This section includes the requirement to close the files for the family unit. (Note: If a sanctioned client reapplies, they must complete a new application and meet all eligibility requirements including the work search requirement prior to application.)
- Procedures and standards for developing EPs for clients with barriers
Employment-Related Programs/Services (Excludes Supervised Independent Work Search)
The ministry offers a range of employment-related services through the Employment Program of British Columbia (EPBC) to which clients are referred for participation. Service providers move clients into sustainable employment in the shortest possible timeframe.
Supervised Independent Work Search
The ministry is committed to moving clients into sustainable employment in the shortest possible timeframe. Some clients with a recent demonstrated work history, job-search skills and high levels of personal motivation may not require the support of a contracted employment-related program. For these clients, Supervised Independent Work Search (SIWS) may be appropriate.
Refer ETW clients to SIWS if any of the following apply:
- They are not identified for formal referral to the Employment Program of British Columbia (EPBC), are not already being case managed by EPBC, and are capable of independent work search [see Related Links - Employment Program of British Columbia]
- They meet EPBC non-referral criteria (which includes “able to secure employment without support or has imminent employment pending”) and are capable of independent work search
- They are capable of independent work search
This includes Expected to Work (ETW) clients who have a temporary medical condition.
Expected To Work (ETW) clients likely to be designated Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers (PPMB) or Persons with Disabilities (PWD) within six months or clients who are clearly not capable of meeting SIWS employment obligations should be referred to Activities Toward Independence (ATI) or other appropriate programs or encouraged to access the EPBC services.
Employability Considerations for Clients
The ministry expects employable clients to search for, accept and continue in employment. However, the ministry recognizes that some clients may have barriers that should be considered when determining an appropriate EP.
The EP is the key to success for clients who may have barriers or unique challenges to consider and accommodate in their movement along the employability continuum.
Employability considerations for individual clients can be defined as:
- Thought and deliberation given to an individual’s ability to work on a continuum from currently unable to, able with modifications, to fully employable
- Taking into account an individual’s aptitude, capabilities, skills, barriers to employability and any interfering condition
- Determining the capacity of an individual to work in particular and/or specific types of work
- Ensuring the EP is tailored to support the identified considerations and drive towards realistic/suitable work that will lead to independence
It is the client’s responsibility to provide information regarding any circumstances that interfere with their ability to search for, accept or continue in employment.
The Employment Readiness Information Questionnaire, Employability Screen and the Client Employability Profile are tools to help identify barriers to employment and how they can be addressed. [see Related Links – Employment Readiness Information Questionnaire, Client Employability Profile and Employability Screen]
All comments relating to client barriers to employment, impact of medical condition on employability, severity of condition, nature of condition/primary/secondary, and verification type (Medical Report or other verification, e.g., phone), and results of the Client Employability Profile must be documented on the Case Contact Medical / Behavioural sub-view tab.
Temporary Medical, Drug and Alcohol or Mental Health Conditions – Medical Report Employability HR3069
To determine if a client has a temporary medical, drug or alcohol or mental health condition that interferes with employment, the Medical Report must be completed.
The Medical Report – Employability (HR3069) is a standardized form used as an additional tool for staff to:
- Verify a client’s condition and its expected duration
- Determine the impact of a client’s condition on their ability to participate in various types of employment or employment-related activities
- Determine which type of activities would be appropriate to be included in the Employment Plan
If a Medical Report is provided to a client, staff should ensure that either the Employability Screen and Client Employability Profile, or the Employment Readiness Information Questionnaire, have been completed to further identify barriers.
Completion of Medical Report
The Medical Report form is designed for use only by a medical physician (general practitioner or specialist) who is aware of the client’s condition and the nature of their treatment.
Clients are to be instructed to return the completed Medical Report within thirty (30) days of receiving it.
Where the client has a drug or alcohol or mental health condition and does not have a physician, other health professionals who are familiar with the client’s condition may be contacted for information, e.g., occupational therapists, drug or alcohol counsellors, addictions counsellors, social workers, mental health workers, intake workers, street nurses, or substance intervention workers. Staff can use the questions on the Medical Report as a guideline but should not provide the form for completion by anyone other than a medical physician. Payment for completion of the Medical Report is made through the Medical Services Plan (MSP) billing and payment system.
Information from the Medical Report or other health professionals (if applicable) must be documented on the Case Contact Medical / Behavioural sub-view tab including:
- Duration of condition
- Impact of condition on client’s employability
- Comments related to Primary and Secondary condition
- Documentation type
- Any other factors which may impact employment planning
For procedures for dealing with EP at file transfer, see Resources for Staff –Employment Plan Standards: Employment Plans.
For procedures when a client refuses to sign an EP, see Procedures.
For a detailed list of information that should be entered in the system under Employment / Independence and the Case Contact Medical / Behavioural sub-view tab, see Resources for Staff – Employment Plan Standards: Glossary.
For information on standards for EP development and review for clients in specific, employment-related programs and services, see Resources for Staff – Employment Plan Standards, and review the information for the appropriate program.
For information on standards for EP development and reviews for clients in Supervised Independent Work Search, see Resources for Staff – Employment Plan Standards: Supervised Independent Work Search and all sub-topics.
Effective: October 1, 2012
Information in the Medical Report may be used to determine which employment-related activities or programs may be appropriate for the client.
Activities specified in an EP must be oriented to employment or improving employability.
It is important that the barriers identified are addressed through specific activities on the EP to ensure the client’s movement towards increased employability.
Staff should consider any condition that may impact the client’s ability to carry out employment-related activities. Clients should not be asked to comply with activities that would aggravate an existing condition.
Clients are not required to obtain medical treatment as a condition of their EP.
Where an EPBC service provider does not accept a client who is formally referred by the ministry for EPBC case management, the service provider will notify the ministry of the specific reasons for the client’s non-acceptance.
Where a service provider indicates a possible temporary medical, drug or alcohol or mental health condition, staff must contact the client to determine the situation. Staff must determine whether another program/service would be more suitable or whether a Medical Report – Employability HR3069 is required.
Examples of Appropriate Activities for Expected to Work – Medical Condition
For clients with medical, alcohol or drug, or mental health conditions that interfere with their ability to search for, accept or continue in employment, an EP still includes activities which improve their employability such as:
- Regular contact with the EAW
- Access Self-Serve Services at local Employment Services Centre (ESC)
- Participate in the Employment Program of British Columbia (EPBC) Review available community resources to address their barriers
- Participate in a community organization or service group
- A referral to a community support agency offering mental health services or referral to a community outreach service
- Mentoring or peer support activities
- Pursue job shadowing or work experience opportunities
- Regular contact with a Mental Health Worker
- Develop a resume
- Networking with family or friends
- Research employment opportunities
- Literacy Programs
- ABE Programs
- Modified Supervised Independent Work Search which takes into account their ability to participate – for clients who have not provided documentation from a medical practitioner to confirm the medical condition
- Referral to AT – for clients who have provided documentation from a medical practitioner to confirm the client is not able to participate in employment-related activities
Employment planning should be a collaborative process. Wherever possible, clients should be encouraged to identify activities that they feel could improve their self-reliance and move them along the employability continuum.
Exceptional Circumstances for Waiving an EP
In exceptional circumstances, some clients with severe physical or mental conditions should not be required to have an EP.
Factors to consider when exempting a client from the requirement to have an EP include:
- the client is not physically able to attend programs, even with accommodations, due to severe illness (e.g., end stage of terminal illness); or
- the client is not mentally able to participate in a program or does not have the capacity to understand the requirement of the program due to a severe mental health condition (e.g., a client who would likely qualify for PPMB or PWD, but refuses to apply due to severe mental health issues)
Staff must consider the ability of the client to understand, commit to and reasonably carry out the terms and conditions of the EP as well as the person’s ability to conduct a job search and participate in programs.
EP exemptions will be made on a case by case basis using information from a variety of sources including, but not limited to:
- the recipient;
- the Client Employability Profile;
- the service provider;
- a medical report; or,
- observed client behaviour.
The Adjudicator makes the decision regarding the EP exemption based on information provided by the EAW and Supervisor. The Adjudicator also determines the date of the next review, which is not to exceed two years.
Once approved, the client is excluded from EP sanctions. Given the client's exceptional circumstances, as noted above, it is highly unlikely that these clients will be able to be engaged in activities that will help them meet employment obligations identified in S.13 (1) of the Employment and Assistance Act. Therefore any sanctions for failure to meet employment obligations are not likely to apply.
Deferring an EP – Clients with Legitimate Mitigating Circumstances
In exceptional circumstances where legitimate mitigating circumstances are present, clients who have employment-related obligations (i.e., they do not meet the criteria listed in Regulations for “no employment-related obligations”) may have the EP deferred for up to 30 days (e.g., a client who is currently in a hospital).
Circumstances are not legitimate if:
- The client does not take action to address the circumstances to ensure they can meet the conditions of the EP
- The circumstances occur more frequently than ordinarily expected
- The client does not provide verification of the circumstance
Any decision to defer the development of an EP for a client who has employment-related obligations must be made by the Supervisor, and must be documented by ministry staff on the Case Contact Medical / Behavioural sub-view tab.
If the Supervisor approves a deferral of the EP for a client with employment-related obligations, a VPP should not be developed. The Supervisor may extend the 30-day deferral twice, for a maximum deferral period of 90 days.
Suspension of an EP
The EP may be suspended for up to 30 days by the Supervisor if:
- A recipient’s status changes to one of the categories identified in EA Regulation Section 29 (4), or EAPWD Regulation Section 25 (4) (“no employment-related obligations” or NEO categories)
- The client has legitimate mitigating circumstances preventing them from meeting the conditions of their EP [see Deferring an EP – Clients with Legitimate Mitigating Circumstances]
The Supervisor may extend the 30-day suspension twice, for a maximum suspension period of 90 days.
Where a recipient’s status changes to a NEO category, an EP may only be suspended for the temporary period that a client does not have employment-related obligations, and only if the period is likely to be less than three months.
During the time an EP is suspended, ministry staff will suspend the application of sanctions for non-compliance.
If this period is likely to be more than three months, ministry staff will close the EP and may enter into a VPP with the client. [see Related Links – Voluntary Participation Plan.]
Once a client’s end date for having no employment-related obligations is reached, ministry staff must replace the suspended EP with a new one. Sanctions for non-compliance will apply to a client’s new EP.
If during a suspension, the client becomes designated as a PWD, ministry staff must close the EP and either enter into a VPP with the client, or have no plan at all.
[For more information on EP activities, and on legitimate mitigating circumstances, see Resources for Staff – Employment Plan Standards.]
Effective: April 2, 2012
Ministry clients who do not have employment-related obligations, i.e., those who fall under one or more of the groups identified in EA Regulation, Section 29 (4) or EAPWD Regulation, Section 25 (4), are not required to enter into EPs.
Clients without employment-related obligations, including PPMB’s and PWD’s, may complete voluntary participation activities. [see Related Links – Voluntary Participation Plan for information on employability planning tools for clients who have no employment-related obligations]
Effective: November 24, 2014
Staff must follow the Employment Plan Standards in working with clients to formulate an EP.
Employment Plan template letters and My Self Serve (MYSS) messaging templates are available for use when contacting clients regarding their EP.
- Employment Plan – First Appointment Letter (HR3248)
- Employment Plan – Second Appointment Letter (HR2920)
- Template: Action Required: Employment Plan (HR3632)
- Template: Important Reminder – Action Required EP (HR3631)
The following are the components of the EP document:
- Client Information
- Amendment Tracking (if applicable)
- Client Type
- Conditions of the Plan:
- Name of program or service
- Contractor (if applicable)
- Required activities
- Date of referral (if applicable)
- Client reporting requirements
- Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy
- Compliance and Actions for Non-Compliance
- Acknowledgement and Distribution
Procedures for Developing EP:
The following are the steps to develop an EP with each client
- Complete Client Employment Planning Tools
- For clients identified for referral to Employment Program of British Columbia (EPBC) by the ministry, assess whether the client meets established non-referral criteria. Non-referral criteria are intended to screen out only those clients who are unsuitable for program participation, and those capable of independent work search. If the client is suitable for and is referred to EPBC, no further assessments by the EAW are required at this time.
- Non-referral criteria for EPBC includes: “able to secure employment without support or has imminent employment pending.” Clients who meet this non-referral criteria but are otherwise suitable for EPBC referral should be given a Dual EP for Supervised Independent Work Search (SIWS) and EPBC.
- Aboriginal clients identified for EPBC referral may choose to attend programming through the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS) rather than EPBC, as ASETS offers programming equivalent to EPBC. Note: Where clients identified for EPBC referral choose to attend ASETS instead, a new EP is required only if the ASETS provider is independent of the EPBC: if the ASETS provider is a partner or sub-contractor, no new EP is required.
- Aboriginal clients not identified for EPBC referral may be referred to ASETS programming.
- If needed to determine the client’s current level of employability, administer the optional Employment Readiness Information Questionnaire (ERIQ), or an Employability Screen.A score of 0-14 on the Screen indicates a moderate to high level of employability.
- A score of 15 + indicates the need to identify the specific barriers to employment. The Client Employability Profile is used to assist in identifying the barriers and their degree of severity, so that the barriers can be addressed in the employment planning process.
- Applicants who appear at intake to have a moderate to high level of employability (score of 0-14) should be given a Dual EP for SIWS and EPBC.
- Clients who appear to have a low level of employability may be referred to other programs as required, e.g., Non-Ministry programs for Literacy or English as a Second Language (ESL).
- Clients who are temporarily not capable of meeting SIWS or EPBC requirements – e.g., due to a short-term medical condition – but are otherwise suitable for EPBC referral should be given a Dual EP for Activities Toward Independence (ATI) and EPBC.
- Clients who are likely to be designated as PPMB or PWD within six months OR have severe multiple barriers may be given a Dual EP for ATI and EPBC, or, if they are not suitable for EPBC referral, an ATI-Only EP.
- Existing clients whose employment plan is expired or expiring and who are still on assistance should be referred to EPBC, provided they are suitable for referral. Clients who are not suitable for EPBC referral and will not be suitable in future should be given an SIWS-Only or ATI-Only EP, based on their employability and circumstances.
- Existing clients who do not have an employment plan (e.g., those with missing plans, and those whose status has recently changed to employment-obligated) should be referred to EPBC, provided they are suitable for referral.
- Clients may be referred to other Ministry programs such as ATI, or to non-ministry programs such as Literacy or ESL.
- Clients that are returned to the ministry by a service provider should complete the Client Employability Profile to determine previously unidentified barriers to employment and complete an amended (new) EP, as required. This is not required if the reason for return is that the client does not require EPBC case management to find employment – in this case, the client should be referred to a Dual SIWS and EPBC EP and encouraged to access EPBC self-serve services.
- Clients with a temporary medical condition, drug or alcohol or mental health condition that interferes with employment should be provided with a Medical Report – Employability (HR3069) for completion by a physician. Use the Information Required – Medical letter (HR3237) as a covering letter. Update the Case Contact – SD More Info - Employment Obligations Status/Exclusion Reasons field – EP waived.
- Gather Information
- Gather information regarding the client’s education, work experience, work search knowledge, current resume, knowledge of resources, knowledge of research, and progress to date.
- Discuss and document the employment planning activities already accomplished.
- Information is then entered into the Conditions of the Plan and must be clear, concise, factual, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. Ministry staff enter data from the client's EP into the system as a permanent record.
- Identify and Document Activities the Client Will Undertake Within the Term of the EP
- Based on steps 1 and 2 above, ministry staff identify the specific activities the client will undertake within specified timeframes.
- For clients identified by the ministry and referred to EPBC, activities will be developed by the service provider based on the client’s formal needs assessment.
- For clients participating in ASETS programs, detailed activities will be developed by the ASETS agreement holder based on the client’s assessed needs.
- All clients should be encouraged to access their local ESC for self-serve services.
- For clients in SIWS, activities should include referral to other resources including the local ESC for self-serve services, as well as any other appropriate community resources.
- For clients with conditions that interfere with employment, activities should focus on improving employability. Activities might include outreach, community services and supports, self-directed career exploration and pre-employment services (life skills).
- Activities that are not related to a specific program would be coded as “other”.
- Schedule and Document Regular Reviews of EP
- Identify review dates and method of client reporting.
- Regular reviews ensure clients are undertaking the activities identified in their plan and are supported in achieving employment and independence.
- To advise client of Employment Plan review, send Employment Plan – First Appointment Letter (HR3248) by MYSS messaging or mail.
- Employment Plans with an “other” activity are subject to the same review process as any other Employment Plan [see Resources for Staff – Employment Plan Standards]
- Completion of EP
- Ministry staff must explain the terms and conditions of the EP to the client and indicate that failure to comply will result in ineligibility for assistance
- To notify a client of their need to follow through with the required activities in the Employment Plan, send Employment Plan – Appointment Letter – Non-Compliance Advice (HR2921).
- If a client fails to comply with the required activities in the EP, send the letter Employment Plan – Failure to Complete HR3074.
- The client is required to sign the EP as acknowledgement of its terms and conditions.
- Ministry staff provides a copy of the EP to the client.
Procedures for Dual EPs:
The following are the steps to develop an EP with each client
Complete Client Employment Planning Tools as detailed above.
Gather information as detailed above.
If client does not currently meet EPBC referral criteria, but is otherwise suitable for EPBC referral, develop a Dual EP:
- For clients capable of independent work search, develop a Dual SIWS/EPBC EP.
- For clients with short-term barriers, develop a Dual ATI/EPBC EP.
Identify and document activities the client will undertake within the initial six months of the EP as detailed above.
Schedule and document regular reviews of the EP as detailed above.
Complete EP as detailed above.
- If client self-refers to EPBC within the initial six-months of their EP, EPBC will send a request for Program Referral:
- In the current Employment / Independence Service Request, update the client’s EP sub-type to EPBC.
- Send EPBC Self-Referral from Combined EP letter (HR
- Follow procedures for regular EPBC referral, e.g., to confirm EPBC attendance.
- Note: a new EP is not required, as the Dual EP contains all EPBC requirements.
- If the client is still on assistance and has not self-referred to EPBC at the six month mark:
- In the current Employment / Independence Service Request, update the client’s EP sub-type to EPBC.
- Send EPBC Referral from Combined EP letter (HR3548).
- Follow procedures for regular EPBC referral, e.g., send Program Referral to EPBC provider, and confirm client’s acceptance for case management.
- Note: the Program Referral should clearly indicate if the client has been conducting an independent work search for 6 months and has not been successful, as EPBC may wish to assess the client for hidden barriers.
- Note: a new EP is not required, as the Dual EP contains all EPBC requirements.
[For more information, see Resources for Staff – Implications of LMA Program Participation by Client Type.]
Effective: October 1, 2012
The Adjudicator is to approve when an EP is waived.
The client will be exempt from Employment Plan sanctions. Information to be documented on the Medical / Behavioural sub-view tab under Case Contact.
The following steps must be followed in cases where the EAW believes a client may have a severe physical or medical condition that prevents the completion of an EP.
EAW assesses available information and determines if Medical Report HR3069 is required. When requesting a Medical Report (HR3069), use the Information Required – Medical letter (HR3237) as a covering letter. The medical report is not required if there is sufficient information on the system or the client is not capable of completing the form.
- discusses the client's condition with the Supervisor
- gathers any relevant documentation needed for an adjudicator to determine whether or not to waive an EP, and
- forwards supporting documents including a brief outline of client's circumstances to the Adjudicator.
RRA reviews documentation and forwards e-mail of decision to Supervisor and EAW, and comments on the system.
If circumstances warrant waiving an EP:
- tick the indicator for 'EP waived' with an end date to the Case Contact SD More Info sub-view tab
- If circumstances do not warrant waiving an EP:
- add comment on system indicating client not approved
- advise recipient by mail or phone of the decision.
Review conducted by the Adjudicator at least every 2 years.
Effective: April 19, 2004
If a client refuses to sign an EP, ministry staff must:
Give a copy of the EP to the client
- Explain the terms and conditions of the EP to the client
- Ask the client if they understand the terms and conditions of the EP(and confirm that the client understands)
- Advise the client that the terms and conditions of the EP have taken into account the client’s capabilities, that the expectations are reasonable and that they are required by the ministry to sign their EP as a condition of eligibility
- Advise the client that by refusing to sign the Receipt and Acknowledgement of the EP, they refused to enter into the EP and that as a consequence are no longer eligible to receive assistance
- Advise the client that they may request a reconsideration of the terms and conditions of the EP, but they are not subject to appeal
- Document on the system that the staff did all of the above
Authorities and Responsibilities
Effective: June 10, 2014
Adjudicator is responsible for:
- applying discretion in exceptional circumstances for waiving an Employment Plan (EP) for clients who have a severe physical or mental condition
- reviewing waived EPs at least every 2 years
Supervisor is responsible for:
- applying discretion to defer the development and start date of the EP
- suspending and reinstating EPs when legitimate mitigating circumstances occur
Employment and Assistance Worker (EAW) is responsible for:
- completing the EP with clients:
- developing the EP based on the findings of the Employability Screen and optional Employment Readiness Information Questionnaire and, as required, the Client Employability Profile
- preparing program referrals for the Employment Program of British Columbia (EPBC) for employment-obligated applicants identified at intake using the system for referral or for clients who meet eligibility criteria
- encouraging clients who are not identified at intake using the system or who do not meet eligibility criteria for referral to EPBC to access their Self-Serve Services
- working with the client to develop interventions and employment activities according to the needs of the client
- facilitating a two-way dialogue with the client in order to capture as much detail as necessary for case management of the individual
- entering clear, concise, factual, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound information into the Conditions of the Plan
- ensuring the client signs the EP and acknowledges the terms and conditions of the EP
- ensuring signed EP is placed on client file
- updating the system in the Case Contact, SD More Info – Employment Obligations Status/Exclusion Reasons field – and choosing the appropriate reason
- developing amended EPs when client information must be changed or added and ensuring client signs all amendmentsfor placement on the client file
- completing EP reviews as per the Employment Plan Standards
- revisiting the client’s progress towards independence during the Employment Plan Review
EPBC service providers are responsible for:
- providing the full range of EPBC services to all British Columbian job seekers, including BCEA clients
- assessing the client’s individual needs through a formal needs assessment process, including completion of the Employment Readiness Information Questionnaire (ERIQ)
- returning to the ministry clients who are capable of independent work search and do not require case management or who are assessed as unsuitable for EPBC services, with rationale
- for clients requiring case management, determining any interventions deemed necessary based on the client’s individual needs
- for clients requiring case management, creating an Action Plan that records the details of the EPBC program and the activities agreed to by the client based on their individual needs
- monitoring and supporting case managed clients to successfully complete the activities outlined in their Action Plan and to achieve labour market attachment as quickly as possible
Clients are responsible for:
- signing their EP and all new (amended) EPs
- completing the Work Search Activities Record (HR0077), or other reporting method and frequency as described in the EP to track progress with respect to the activities outlined in the EPs. Providing reports to service provider and or ministry, as required by the ministry, and as documented in their EP
- fulfilling the conditions of their EPs within the specified time-frame
A summarized Authority Level matrix is available in Additional Resources.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question Can one EP be used to refer a client to more than one service provider or program?
Answer Yes. However, the only EPs that can be used for more than one service provider or program are the Dual EPs for ATI/EPBC or SIWS/EPBC. These EPs contain the conditions for two types of plan: an initial six-month period of ATI or SIWS activities, based on the client’s circumstances, followed by a two-year period of EPBC participation.
There are no other EP types that can be used to refer a client to more than one service provider or program. Other types of EPs document the conditions of a specific program or service a client is required to participate in. The name of the service provider or program is considered a condition of the EP. If the ministry determines the client will be referred to a different service provider or program than the one documented on the EP, a new or amended EP must be completed to reflect this change to the conditions of the plan.
Question What are Dual EPs, and why should staff use them?
Answer Dual EPs are employment plans that include requirements for both an initial six month period of either ATI or SIWS, followed by a two-year EPBC participation period.
Dual EPs allow staff to refer clients who appear capable of independent job search to SIWS for an initial six month period, followed by a referral to EPBC if the client’s job search is not successful, without the need to create a new EP.
Similarly, for clients with short-term medical conditions or other temporary barriers, Dual EPs allow an initial six month period for the client to recuperate or otherwise resolve their barriers, followed by a referral to EPBC, without the need to create a new EP.
Question When should clients get an ATI-Only or SIWS-Only EP instead of a Dual EP for ATI/EPBC or for SIWS/EPBC?
Answer Clients that are not suitable for EPBC, and will not be suitable for EPBC referral within six months, should be given an EP that does not include EPBC. If ATI or SIWS is the most appropriate EP type for the client, then the client should get an ATI-Only or SIWS-Only EP. If another EP type, such as ASETS or Non-Ministry is the most appropriate for the client, then the client should get that EP type.
ATI-Only and SIWS-Only plans should be the exception for cases where clients are not and will not be suitable for EPBC referrals. Dual EPs should be used for clients who are not identified for immediate EPBC referral or meet non-referral criteria of “able to secure employment without support or has imminent employment pending,” but who are otherwise suitable for EPBC.
Question For families who are already working full-time, but not earning enough to get them off the system, is an employment plan required? The file keeps showing on the outstanding reports.
Answer If the family’s combined income is insufficient for the family to become independent, an EP is required for both the client and spouse to plan how to move them towards independence.
Question Is the "referral" date on the employment plan the date that the client is seeing the referring worker and is being referred to a program OR is it the date that the client has booked an appointment with the service provider or program?
Answer The date of referral(s) is the date the client was referred to the program / service.
Question When and why should you close an EP or create a new EP?
Answer If you are closing an EP before its completion, it should be because the client is not continuing with that or with any EP (e.g., client status has changed to PPMB, NEO or PWD), for the specified reason. If you are changing required EP activities within the same type of EP (e.g., client is required to report SIWS activities on a more frequent basis), you can amend the EP, but you do not need to close the existing EP. If you are changing the type of EP (e.g., client was formerly in SIWS but is now starting an ASETS program), you need to close the existing EP, then create a new EP. In both cases, the client will need to sign the new EP.
Question When an EP has been completed by ministry staff and the client is referred to an EPBC service provider, can that service provider complete a new employment plan to send the client off to other interventions deemed necessary by the service provider? Or, does the service provider need to consult with ministry staff who will then do the new EP?
Answer The EP is a legal document between the client and the ministry. Any changes must be documented in a new EP and agreed upon (signed) by the ministry caseworker and the client. The service provider has no authority to make the changes to the EP. However, the service provider can send the client to interventions they deem necessary as part of the client’s activities under their EPBC EP without requiring a new plan.
Question Can the details of an EP be shared with parties other than a service provider in order to verify compliance?
Answer Yes, under Section 10.1 (c) (d) and (f) of the Employment and Assistance Act, Ministry staff have authority to verify information to assess employability and skills for the purposes of an employment plan, or assessing compliance with the conditions of an employment plan. Provisions governing collection, use, and disclosure of personal information will apply.
Question Is a single parent with a child under three, required to complete an EP? If so, is compliance mandatory and do sanctions apply?
Answer No, a single parent with a child under three years old does not have employment-related obligations as per EA Regulation Section 29(4) and EAPWD Regulation Section 25(4) and as such is not required to complete and comply with an EP. Medical Reports.
Question If a client has a medical condition, which may interfere with employment, which medical report should be used?
Answer A client with a score of under 15 on the Employability Screen whose only barrier appears to be a drug or alcohol, medical health or temporary medical condition should be assessed first for Expected to Work – Medical Condition using the Medical Report – Employability (HR3069). If the client appears to meet the criteria for a Person with Persistent Multiple Barriers (PPMB) or is requesting to apply for PPMB, the Medical Report – PPMB (HR2892) should be used. [see Related Links – Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers].