Skip to main content

In This Volume

Employment Standards Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 113

The Director of Employment Standards may determine or the Employment Standards Tribunal may make an order that an employer is liable for unpaid wages or that a talent agency is liable for wages, less any fees allowed under the regulations, received from an employer on behalf of an employee.

  • Nature of Interest: Unpaid wages constitute a lien, charge, and secured debt in favour of the director against the real and personal property of the employer, the talent agency, or other person named in the director’s determination or the tribunal’s order.
  • Effect of Interest: Lien, charge, and secured debt has, with limited exceptions, priority over liens, judgments, charges, or other security interests from the date the wages were earned.
  • Procedure for Enforcement: Director may file a determination, settlement agreement, or order in the Supreme Court.
  • Electronic Submissions: On the Form 17 Charge, Notation or Filing, select Nature of Interest, Crown Lien, and attach an image of the original certificate under the Employment Standards Act.
  • Effect of Filing: Certificate, once filed and until varied, cancelled, or suspended, has the same effect as a judgment of the court for the recovery of debt. A settlement agreement, once filed, also has the same effect as a judgment of the court.

Crown Lien Taking Effect after Registration of Certificate of Pending Litigation in Foreclosure Proceedings or Forced Sale Proceedings

Under s. 30 of the Land Title Act, liens created by judgments in favour the Director of Employment Standards, even when registered after a certificate of pending litigation, may have priority over mortgages and certain other charges and rights registered before the judgment. See s. 87 of the Employment Standards Act. When one of these Crown liens may have priority over the claim of the holder of a certificate of pending litigation in a foreclosure action or court-ordered sale, and if the lien holder is not joined as a party, such liens will not be released automatically from title. The registrar issues a notice under s. 294.6(e) or 303(e) of the Land Title Act to the Employment Standards Branch advising it that its lien will be removed from title two weeks after the notification, thus giving the branch time to assert its priority. If the applicant has joined the branch, the registrar does not send a notice.

Selected Case Law


Cross References and Other Sources of Information

Reciprocating Provinces and Territories

The following is a list of reciprocating provinces and effective dates:

  • Alberta: effective September 1, 1983 (O.C. 1450/83)
  • Manitoba: effective June 4, 1992 (O.C. 920/92)
  • New Brunswick: effective October 16, 1997 (O.C. 1164/97)
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: effective April 1, 2003 (O.C. 319/2003)
  • Northwest Territories: effective July 20, 1989 (O.C. 1060/89)
  • Nova Scotia: effective March 21, 1996 (O.C. 395/96)
  • Nunavut: effective April 1, 2003 (O.C. 319/2003)
  • Ontario: effective March 21, 1996 (O.C. 395/96)
  • Prince Edward Island: effective March 21, 1996 (O.C. 395/96)
  • Saskatchewan: effective January 19, 1995 (O.C. 70/95)
  • Yukon Territory: effective September 4, 1986 (O.C. 1616/86)