Interpretation Guidelines Manual British Columbia Employment Standards Act and Regulations
EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS ACT - PART 3 - WAGES, SPECIAL CLOTHING & RECORDS
ESA Section 30 – Producer and farm labour contractor are liable for unpaid wages
This section sets out the liability of a producer for wages earned by an employee of a farm labour contractor for work performed on behalf of the producer.
30. (1) A producer and a farm labour contractor are jointly and separately liable for wages earned by an employee of the farm labour contractor for work done on behalf of the producer.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of a producer if
(a) the farm labour contractor is licensed under this Act at the time the producer engages the services of the farm labour contractor, and
(b) the producer satisfies the director that the producer paid the farm labour contractor for wages earned by each employee of the farm labour contractor for work done on behalf of the producer.
Under s.1 of the Act a “producer” means “a person who engages the services of a farm labour contractor”. A “farm labour contractor”, as noted in s.1 of the Act, has employees who work under the control or direction of a “producer” in connection with the planting, cultivating or harvesting of an agricultural product.
A producer and a farm labour contractor are both liable for the payment of all wages to employees who were hired by the farm labour contractor to work in the producer’s operation, subject to the conditions outlined in subsection (2).
If a producer engages the services of a farm labour contractor who is licensed at the time service was provided, and the producer satisfies the director that full payment was made to the farm labour contractor for the work done on behalf of the producer, the liability of the producer under subsection (1) does not apply.
Jas, a farm worker, files a complaint with the Branch claiming unpaid wages for work performed for ABC Ltd., a farm labour contractor. Work was performed on behalf of a producer, XYZ Farms.
ABC Ltd. was a farm labour contractor licensed under the Act at the time XYZ Farms engaged its services, and the producer satisfies the Director that full payment had been made to ABC Ltd. for work done by employees on its behalf.
ABC Ltd. is liable for any outstanding wages. XYZ Farms would not be jointly and separately liable for wages earned by an employee of ABC Ltd. for work done on its behalf.
The Employment Standards Regulation, Part 2, ss.6(3) and (4), establishes the daily payroll records that must be kept by a farm labour contractor.
Any unpaid wages by either the producer or the farm labour contractor are recoverable under the enforcement provisions of the Act.
Related sections of the Act or Regulation
- s.1, Definition “farm labour contractor”
- s.1, Definition “producer”
- s.13, Farm labour contractors must be licensed
- s.30.1, Liability of farm labour contractor for transportation costs
- s.30.2, Enforcement of administrative fee
- s.1, Definition “farm worker”
- ss.5-12, Employment Agencies and Farm Labour Contractors
- s.18, Minimum Wage – farm workers
- s.34.1, Farm workers
- s.39, Exclusions from farm labour contractor licensing requirements
- s.40.2, Exclusion from payment options for farm labour contractors