On Oct. 25, 2018, the Government of British Columbia released the Report on Recommendations for Amendments to the Labour Relations Code submitted by a panel appointed by the government. The report contains 29 recommendations for amendments to the Labour Relations Code covering a wide range of topics such as union certification processes, dispute resolution, successorship, unfair labour practices and arbitration procedures.

According to the government’s engagement website, the panel’s review focused on ensuring B.C.’s unionized workplaces are supported by fair laws for workers and businesses that are consistent with the labour rights and protections enjoyed by other Canadians.

The recommendations have not yet been proposed in the Legislature or passed into law. The Minister of Labour reserves the right to introduce additional changes or amendments that deviate from these recommendations.

The Ministry of Labour invited public feedback on the panel’s recommendations up to Nov. 30, 2018. The minister also announced that “additional consultations with key stakeholders” would be undertaken as the government prepares amendments to the Code to be brought forward in the spring of 2019.

Current Status

VRCA partnered with 12 industry and business organizations with a shared interest in growing the B.C. economy to endorse a Joint Business Community Submission in response to the Labour Relations Code Review Committee Recommendations for Amendments to the Labour Relations Code.

VRCA also supported the British Columbia Construction Association’s effort to prepare an official response for submission on behalf of B.C.’s four regional construction associations.

The provincial government is at present reviewing submissions received in advance of preparing legislative changes to the Labour Relations Code.

Status Updates

  • VRCA pleased government is keeping the secret ballot method of union certification, but says Labour Code changes come with challenges. Read more.
  • On April 30, Labour Minister Harry Bains introduced legislation to change certain provisions of the B.C. Labour Code. The changes follow the 29 recommendations provided by the Labour Code Review Panel. Read more.
  • VRCA partnered with 12 other industry and business organizations to endorse a Joint Business Community Submission in response to the Labour Relations Code Review Committee Recommendations for Amendments to the Labour Relations Code. Read more.
  • VRCA issued an Advocacy in Action email to its membership clarifying that:
    • The Code applies to all industries and to all companies – union and open-shop – in those industries.
    • As an association that represents both union and open-shop companies, VRCA is pleased to endorse the Joint Business Community Submission and, in particular, its recommendations to government to address certain open-ended or indefinite recommended amendments (and therefore provide clarity) before it moves to draft and table legislation.
    • As a champion of fair, open and transparent business practices, VRCA commends the government’s use of the transparent and consultative process used to date to undertake the Code review and has urged government to uphold the process to ensure the legitimacy of its outcomes.

VRCA asked its members for their comments and feedback on the Labour Relations Code Review Panel’s 29 recommendations to help the association prepare a response to proposed changes to B.C.’s Labour Relations Code. Read more.