No Employment Obligations

Overview

The ministry expects employable recipients to search for, accept and continue in employment.  However, recipients who meet certain criteria detailed in the Employment and Assistance Act and the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act may be temporarily exempt from this requirement.  These recipients are considered to have no employment-related obligations.

This topic also addresses clients who continue to have employment obligations while they have a temporary medical condition.

Policy

Effective: September 1, 2015

The ministry expects employable clients to search for, accept and continue in employment.  Clients in special circumstances who meet specific criteria may be temporarily exempt from these employment-related obligations.  The following clients are considered to have No Employment-related Obligations (NEO):
 

  • Person has reached 65 years of age
  • Sole recipient with dependent child under three years old
  • Sole recipient with dependent child with physical or mental condition
  • Sole recipient with Child in Home of a Relative (CIHR) under three years old
  • Sole recipient with CIHR with physical or mental condition
  • Sole recipient with foster child under three years old
  • Sole recipient with foster child with a physical or mental condition
  • Sole recipient providing care for a child under three years in an out-of-care living arrangement under the Child, Family and Community Service Act
  • Sole recipient providing care for a child with a physical or mental condition that precludes the caregiver from leaving home for employment. This exemption does not apply to 2 parent families where only one parent is precluded from leaving home for employment.
  • Person residing in special care facility or hospital
  • Person admitted to hospital because they require extended care
  • Person residing with and caring for spouse with a physical or mental condition
  • Person participating in treatment or rehabilitation program
  • Person separated from abusive spouse / relative within previous six months
  • Person qualified as Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers (PPMB)
  • Persons not described in section 7 (2) (citizenship requirements)
  • Sole applicant or recipient who qualifies for an exemption from citizenship requirements

Note: Person(s) separated from abusive spouse / relative within previous six months do not need to provide verification of abuse.

It is the responsibility of the client to provide information regarding any circumstances that interfere with their ability to meet employment-related obligations.  Clients are assumed to have employment obligations until their condition or circumstance has been verified and a determination has been made that the client meets NEO criteria. 

Where clients disagree with the decision of the Ministry, they should be advised of their right to request reconsideration of the decision. 

Exemptions from employment-related obligations should be determined on a case-by-case basis.

If, at any time, the client no longer meets the criteria for an exemption from Employment-related obligations, the client must be notified and an Employment Plan (EP) developed.

See Procedures – No Employment-Related Obligations for a complete listing of NEO categories, exclusion codes and verification requirements.

Effective: October 1, 2012

Persons with temporary medical, drug and alcohol or mental health conditions are considered Expected to Work – Medical Condition (ETW-MC) if their condition interferes to the extent of obstructing, impeding or preventing their ability to participate in employment, including
part-time work (i.e., minimum 10 hours per week).  These clients still have employment-related obligations under the EA Act and Regulations and their employment plans will include activities which will improve their employability. These clients may be formally referred to or voluntarily access the Employment Program of BC.

[For more information on ETW-MC employment plans see Related Links – Employment Plan - Policy - Identification of Employment-Related Activities for examples of appropriate activities for Expected to Work-Medical Condition.]

Procedures

Effective: September 1, 2015

The following Table is a list of categories of recipients who do not have employment-related obligations.  Recipients who fall into these categories cannot be sanctioned for failure to meet employment-related obligations.

The EAW must update the system in the Case Contact, SD More Info – Employment obligations status/exclusion reasons field – and choose the appropriate reason.

For those recipients with a dependent or supported child with a physical or mental condition, the EAW must select the “Child with Disability” indicator on the child’s Contact – More Info page.

Table: Categories of Persons with No Employment-related Obligations, Exclusion Codes and Verification Requirement

Code

Category (description)

Verification

A

Person has reached 65 years of age

Age of recipient – in Contacts on the Case (birth certificate)

B

Sole recipient with dependent child under three years old

Age of child – in Contacts on the Case (birth certificate)

04

Sole recipient with dependent child with physical or mental condition

With child – in SD More Info on the Case (birth certificate)

Physical or mental condition – Note, letter or telephone conversation from an appropriate health care worker* that:

  • identifies the medical condition
  • in the Minister's opinion, indicates that the recipient is unable to leave the home for purposes of employment
  • identifies the duration of the condition

05

Sole recipient with Child in Home of a Relative (CIHR) under three years old

Age of CIHR – in SD More Info on the Case (birth certificate)

06

Sole recipient with CIHR with physical or mental condition

With CIHR –in SD More Info on the Case

Physical or mental condition – Note, letter or telephone conversation from an appropriate health care worker* that:

  • identifies the medical condition
  • in the Minister's opinion, indicates that the recipient is unable to leave the home for purposes of employment
  • identifies the duration of the condition.

07

Sole recipient with foster child under three years old

With foster child – Note or letter from MCFD or Social Worker indicating:

  • foster child placement
  • foster child age
  • duration of placement

08

Sole recipient with foster child with a physical or mental condition

With foster child – Note or letter from MCFD or Social Worker indicating:

  • foster child placement
  • foster child age
  • duration of placement

Physical or mental condition – Note, letter or telephone conversation from an appropriate health care worker* that:

  • identifies the medical condition
  • in the Minister's opinion, indicates that the recipient is unable to leave the home for purposes of employment
  • identifies the duration of the condition

26

Sole recipient providing care for a child under three years in an out-of-care living arrangement under the Child, Family and Community Service Act.

With a child in an out-of care living arrangement – Note or letter from MCFD or Social Worker indicating:

  • out-of-care living arrangement
  • child's age
  • ​duration of placement

27

Sole recipient providing care for a child with a physical or mental condition that precludes the caregiver from leaving home for employment.

With a child in an out-of-care living arrangement – Note or letter from MCFD or Social Worker indicating:

  • out-of-care living arrangement
  • child's age
  • duration of placement

Physical or mental condition – Note, letter or telephone conversation from an appropriate health care worker* that:

  • identifies the medical condition
  • in the Minister's opinion, indicates that the recipient is unable to leave the home for purposes of employment
  • ​identifies the duration of the condition

D

Person residing in special care facility or hospital

Residence: Note, letter or phone call from institution indicating:

  • residency status
  • duration of residency

D

Person admitted to hospital because they require extended care

Residence – Note, letter or phone call from institution indicating:

  • residency status
  • ​duration of residency.

11

Person residing with and caring for spouse with a physical or mental condition

Spouse – in Contacts on the Case (birth certificate)

Physical or mental condition – Note, letter or telephone conversation from an appropriate health care worker* that:

  • identifies the medical condition of spouse
  • in the Minister's opinion, indicates that the recipient is unable to leave the home for the purpose of employment
  • identifies the duration of the condition of spouse

15

Person participating in treatment or rehabilitation program

Drug or alcohol treatment – Note, letter or telephone call from a representative of the designated treatment centre that:

  • indicates that the recipient is participating in treatment
  • indicates that their drug / alcohol treatment interferes with their ability to search for, accept or continue in employment
  • ​indicates the duration of treatment program

16

Person separated from abusive spouse / relative within previous six months

Applicant/recipient states they are fleeing abuse from a spouse or relative

E

Person qualified as PPMB

See PPMB Guidelines

None

Persons not described in section 7 (2) [citizenship requirements]

Does not meet citizenship requirements – Any information the person can produce.  With or without information, forward all cases to immigration liaison for verification.  Examples include visitors, students, and persons who have not yet applied for refugee status.  

* "Health care worker" for the purposes of this Table only, means a person who is authorized under an enactment to practice the profession of:
 

  1. a medical practitioner
  2. a registered psychologist
  3. a registered nurse or registered psychiatric nurse
  4. an occupational therapist
  5. a physical therapist
  6. a social worker; or
  7. a registered clinical counselor

A sole recipient providing care for a child with a physical or mental condition that precludes the caregiver from leaving home for employment may be considered to have No Employment-related Obligations (NEO). However, a 2 parent family unit providing care for that child is not considered to be NEO as one parent can still participate fully in the labour market.

Effective: October 1, 2012

Exemptions from employment-related obligations are intended to be temporary and must be reviewed regularly to ensure the circumstances for which the exemption was granted still exist and interfere with employment.

End dates are determined based on the duration of the circumstances for which the No Employment-related Obligations (NEO) status is granted.  For example, for a person caring for an infirm spouse, the end date for the NEO exemption would be the date the spouse’s condition is expected to resolve.

The ministry’s system queries may be used to determine when exemptions from employment-related obligations will expire.

While reviews can be conducted at any time, they must be conducted at least one month prior to the end date.

Unless information is provided to warrant an extension, the client will be required to complete an EP when the end date for the condition is reached.

Effective: April 19, 2004

Information to be documented includes:
 

  • Circumstances that warrant No Employment-related Obligations (NEO) status
  • Duration of the circumstances
  • Impact of circumstances on client’s employability
  • Review date for NEO status if exemption is approved

Effective: April 2, 2012

Recipients exempt from employment-related obligations are not required to enter into an Employment Plan (EP).  Recipients with an existing EP may have their EP temporarily suspended or closed.  [For more information see Related Links – Employment Plan – Suspension of EP]

Recipients with no employment-related obligations who require prior approval (e.g., single parent with a child under three who wants to enrol in a full-time unfunded program of studies, such as Literacy classes) or wish to participate in a ministry program may enter into a Voluntary Participation Plan (VPP) with the Ministry.  

Note that No Employment-related Obligations (NEO) clients who are accepted by the Employment Program of BC (EPBC) for case management are not required to have a VPP; these clients will have an EPBC Action Plan created by EPBC instead. [see Related Links – Voluntary Participation Plan]

Authorities and Responsibilities

Effective: April 19, 2004

No Employment-Related Obligations
Employment and Assistance Worker
  • All exemptions from employment-related obligations with verification
Supervisor
  • All exemptions from employment-related obligations without verification