Interpretation Guidelines Manual British Columbia Employment Standards Act and Regulations
EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS ACT - PART 3 - WAGES, SPECIAL CLOTHING & RECORDS
ESA Section 26 – Payments by employer to funds, insurers or others
This section specifies that an employer must pay money on an employee’s behalf in accordance with terms of their employment contract.
26. An employer who agrees under an employment contract to pay an amount on behalf of an employee to a fund, insurer or other person must pay the amount in accordance with the contract.
An employer must honor all terms of an employment contract including any terms relating to amounts paid on the employee’s behalf. This may include, but is not restricted to, membership fees to clubs or associations, payments to insurers and benefit providers.
An employer is required to make any remittances on an employee’s behalf according to the terms of the employment contract. Any amount that is not made can be collected as outstanding wages under the Act. See also the definition of “wages” in section l.
An employment contract includes an employee membership at a fitness centre. The contract establishes that the membership will be at the employer’s cost and monthly fees will be remitted as long as the employee continues to be employed by the Company. Failure to make this monthly payment results in a contravention of this section of the Act and may result in a wage claim.
It should be noted that costs incurred by an employee as a result of the employer's failure to make a required payment are not wages for purposes of the Act and are not recoverable under the Act.
An employment contract includes provisions for dental coverage for an employee, at the employer’s cost. The cost of the coverage is $120.00/month. The employer makes monthly remittances to the dental insurer. The employer fails to make a remittance and the employee is not aware of the missed payment. The employee visits the dentist and has dental work done at a cost of $250.00.
The dental insurer does not cover the cost of the dental work due to the missed payment, therefore, the employee is required to pay the $250.00 to the dentist. Under this section of the Act, the employee can file a complaint for $120.00 in outstanding wages, however, the cost of the dental work is not recoverable under the Act.
Under s.27(f) of the Act, an employer is required to provide a wage statement that includes any money, allowance or other payment the employee is entitled to. This ensures that an employee can verify that the employer is honoring contract terms.
Employees covered by a collective agreement
Under the provisions of s.3, if a collective agreement contains any provision respecting s.26, this section of the Act does not apply. If a collective agreement does not contain any provision respecting s.26, this section is deemed to be incorporated in the collective agreement as part of its terms.
Under s.3(7) of the Act, where there is a collective agreement, the enforcement of matters relating to s.26 is through the grievance procedure, not through the enforcement provisions of the Act.
Related sections of the Act or Regulation
- s.1, Definition “wages”
- s.3, Scope of the Act
- s.21, Deductions
- s.22, Assignments
- s.23, Employer’s duty to make assigned payments
- s.24, How an assignment is cancelled
- s.27, Wage statements
- s.28, Payroll records