Interpretation Guidelines Manual British Columbia Employment Standards Act and Regulations
EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS ACT - PART 3 - WAGES, SPECIAL CLOTHING & RECORDS
ESA Section 19 – If employee cannot be located
This section ensures payment of wages to employees even if an employer cannot locate the employee to whom wages are owed.
19. (1) In this section, “administrator” has the same meaning as in the Unclaimed Property Act.
(1.1) If an employer cannot locate an employee to pay the employee's wages, the employer must pay the wages to the director within 60 days after the wages became payable.
(2) The director must give an employer a receipt for any wages received from the employer under subsection (1.1).
(3) The director's receipt for wages is proof that the employer's liability for payment of the wages is discharged to the extent of the amount stated in the receipt.
(4) If the director cannot locate an employee within one year after receiving the employee's wages under this section, the director must transfer the wages to the minister charged with the administration of the Financial Administration Act in accordance with the transfer schedule set by the administrator.
(5) Money transferred to the administrator under subsection (4) is deemed to be an unclaimed money deposit under the Unclaimed Property Act.
Employers must forward to the director all outstanding wages owing to any employee that they are not able to locate within 60 days of the date the wages should have been paid. This money is held by the director in a trust account in accordance with this section of the Act. These wages include any pay for hours worked, including commissions and incentive pay, any outstanding vacation pay and any banked overtime wages.
Employers must provide information about employees who cannot be located. The required information includes:
- the employer name
- full employee name
- last known employee address
- social insurance number
- the period covered by the wages and calculation of wages paid
Subsections (2) and (3)
When the director receives wages from an employer, the director will issue a receipt. The receipt releases the employer from liability to the extent of the payment. The employee may still have the ability to pursue a complaint for wages owing in excess of the money paid to the director, or for other entitlements.
Employees who claim wages held by the director must provide the following information to the director:
- name of the employer
- the period and type of the wage claim
- personal identification, to satisfy the director they are the persons entitled to the wages
Related sections of the Act or Regulation