Interpretation Guidelines Manual British Columbia Employment Standards Act and Regulations


ESR Section 1 – Definitions – Live-In Home Support Worker


Text of Legislation
Policy Interpretation
Related Information


This section contains definitions for terms used throughout the Employment Standards Regulation.

Text of Legislation

"live-in home support worker" means a person who

(a) is employed by an agency, business or other employer providing, through a government funded program, home support services for anyone with an acute or chronic illness or disability not requiring admission to a hospital, and

(b) provides those services on a 24 hour per day live-in basis without being charged for room and board;

Policy Interpretation

Definitions under the Employment Standards Regulation are interpreted narrowly because they take away benefits and protection conferred by the Act. All employment conditions, as described in the definition, must be met in order to qualify as a “live-in home support worker”.
A live-in home support worker is entitled to be paid a daily rate for work performed on any day or portion of a day. Section 16(1) of the Employment Standards Regulation establishes the minimum daily wage for a live-in home support worker.

"Government Funded"

Government funding includes funds from Veteran Affairs, and Health, but not Workers Compensation, or ICBC. When funding comes from a number of sources, including government, if the majority of funding is government, the Director deems all funding to be government for the purposes of determining whether an employee is a live-in home support worker. A person can be a live in home support worker, therefore, even if some of the work performed is not funded through a government program.

For a home support service to be considered a "government funded program" either it must receive the majority of its funding directly from the government through a contractual arrangement for the provision of home support services, or it must be receiving indirectly monies that have been designated by government specifically for the purchase of home support services.


A client receives $400.00 a month from Old Age Security (O.A.S.) and Guaranteed Income Supplement (G.I.S.). The client has no other source of income and purchases the services of a home support worker using only this income. The O.A.S. and G.I.S. income is not considered to be government funding as the client receives the income regardless of whether he purchases the home support services.

A client is allocated $400.00 a month by a government agency to purchase home support services. If the client chooses to not purchase the services, she will not be paid the $400.00. This funding is considered to be government funding as the client only receives the money if the home support services are purchased."

"Acute or chronic illness or disability"

An acute or chronic illness or disability is considered as any condition that incapacitates a person. Disability can be mental or physical.


"Live-in" does not mean permanently resides at the workplace. It is considered to mean that the employee stays at the workplace during his or her shift schedule, much like a municipal fire fighter.


Three nights a week, an individual stays at the residence of mentally disabled person and provides care for that person. The individual’s wage is primarily funded by Veteran’s affairs to provide home support services, and partially from other sources. While at the residence, room and board are provided free of charge.

This individual is a live-in home support worker because the majority of his wages are from a government funded program, he is not charged room and board, he cares for a mentally disabled person and when working, lives in the residence on a 24-hour per day basis.


The daughter of an elderly man pays an individual to provide live-in care at the elderly man’s residence for 4 days per week. The individual is required to bring her own food while at the residence or is charged $5.00 for the cost of the food that she eats.

This individual is not a live-in home support worker because she is not provided free room and board.

Other related employees

Under the Employment Standard Act and Regulation, there are several different categories of employees who provide care and home services and these other types of employees should be distinguished from a "live-in home support worker". They include:·

  • domestic
  • night attendant
  • residential care worker
  • sitter

Related Information

Employment Standards Tribunal Decisions

CSA Care and Share Agency Ltd., BC EST #D104/04

Karen Barnacle operating as Karen's Home Help Service, BC EST#D22/98

Mike Renaud, BC EST#D436/99

Related sections of the Act or Regulation