Interpretation Guidelines Manual British Columbia Employment Standards Act and Regulations


ESR Section 1 – Definitions – Resident Caretaker


Text of Legislation
Policy Interpretation
Related Information


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

Text of Legislation

"resident caretaker" means a person who

(a) lives in an apartment building that has more than 8 residential suites, and

(b) is employed as a caretaker, custodian, janitor or manager of that building;

Policy Interpretation

For purposes the Act, a resident caretaker must meet the criteria set out in (a) and (b) of the definition.

A “resident caretaker” must live in the apartment building. This means the apartment building is the usual and normal domicile of the person.

What is an apartment building? Any building, with more than 8 residential suites, that has the appearance and characteristics of an apartment building, such as common entry, and hallways, is considered by the director to be an apartment building. It should be noted that the caretaker’s unit is included when determining the number of suites.

  • A group of buildings that are in close proximity (within easy walking distance of each other), are considered to be “an apartment” for purposes of the Act. The total number of apartment suites in all apartment buildings in the complex will determine the amount of the resident caretaker minimum wage. Often such complexes are adjacent to each other on the same lot, with a common swimming pool, and recreational area.
  • An apartment building that is strata title is considered an apartment building for the purposes of the Act. The director does not distinguish on the basis of unit ownership. Whether an apartment building has one owner or a number is not a consideration. Whether the units are lived in by their owners or rented out to the public is not a consideration for the director.
  • A townhouse is not an apartment building

What is a caretaker, custodian, janitor or manager (of the building)?

A resident caretaker is available to perform duties during all designated hours. In addition to the requirement to reside at the workplace, the other consideration is the nature of work performed.

The work normally associated with a resident caretaker includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • general light cleaning of the property (vacuuming hallway carpets)
  • light maintenance (replacing burned out lights)
  • preparing suites for rent (steam cleaning carpets, painting walls, cleaning ovens and such like heavy cleaning and light maintenance), or arranging for same
  • showing suites to prospective tenants
  • collecting rent from tenants
  • attending to any emergencies
  • watering and mowing lawn
  • clearing snow
  • arranging for garbage disposal
  • arranging for removal of vehicles parked on property without authorization.

There can be more than one resident caretaker to an apartment building. In some cases, an employer may choose to have a “day” or an “evening” resident caretaker, if they meet the criteria as described in the definition.

Employer must post work schedule

Under subsection 35(2) of this Regulation, an employer must post a caretaker’s work hours and days off work and also give the caretaker a copy of the schedule.

Hours free from work

Under subsection 36(1) of the Employment Standards Act, a resident caretaker is entitled to at least 32 consecutive hours free from work each week, or they are entitled to pay equal to one and-a-half times their regular wage for time worked during this 32-hour period.

Exclusion from certain sections of the Act

Under subsection 35(1) of the Regulation, Part 4 of the Act, (except ss. 36 and 39) does not apply to a resident caretaker.

Minimum wage

In accordance with s.17 of the Employment Standards Regulation a resident caretaker must be paid at least the resident caretaker minimum wage.

Statutory holidays

A resident caretaker is entitled to Statutory Holidays under Part 5 of the Act.

Related Information

Employment Standards Tribunal Decisions

Nacel Properties, BC EST #D160/01

Thomas Louis Harrison and Maartha Lander, BC EST #D224/96

Strataco Management Ltd., BC EST#D570/97

Dynamic Developments Ltd., BCEST #D86/02

Gateway West Management Corp., BC EST #D356/97

Related sections of the Act or Regulation




See Employment Standards Factsheets


Resident Caretakers

Statutory Holiday Dates

Statutory Holidays