VICTORIA, B.C. – The Provincial Government is reminding employers that the changes to employment standards for youth workers begin tomorrow.

The changes have raised the general working age in the province from 12 years of age to 16 and what jobs are appropriate for those under the age of 16.

According to the Province, youth that are 14 and 15 years old are able to do “appropriate” jobs that are defined as “light work” with permission from a parent or guardian. If they wanted to do work outside they need a permit from the Ministry of Labour’s Employment Standards Branch.

These new rules will not prevent children from babysitting or delivering newspapers part-time or stop students from working in a work-study or work experience class.

“Children aged 12 and older can continue to be employed in a business or on a farm owned by an immediate family member, as long as the work meets the safety criteria set out in the regulation,” says the Province in a release.

Appropriate occupations that can be described as “light work” for youth 14 and 15 years old includes:

Jobs or situations that are now considered to be unsafe for youth under 16 include:

These Employment Standards Act changes were initiated in spring 2019 after consultations were held with over 1,700 youth, parents, and employers from various sectors.

Previous to these changes, British Columbia was the only province whose general minimum working age was 12 years old.