Family Day will come with extra costs

The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C. said a new provincial holiday will hurt B.C.’s economy.

The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C. said the recent introduction of a new provincial holiday will hurt B.C.’s economy unless it is paired with some significant changes to employment standards.

“Everyone likes an extra day off, but what this means is the private sector and taxpayers are on the hook for the extra costs — paying people not to work,” said ICBA president Philip Hochstein. “In a fragile global economy, imposing new costs on business will do little to boost productivity and job creation.

“I’m not sure the message I would want to take to global investors looking for a safe haven for their money is, ‘We’re adding to business costs in an economic downturn.’ ”

Hochstein said Family Day is a good idea only if all the rules around employment are re-examined and updated to better reflect the changing nature of work and the workplace.

“Our employment laws are stuck in the past. They’re based on people going to work from 9 to 5 in a factory or office. Many people just don’t do that anymore,” said Hochstein.

“Government shouldn’t just add a new holiday and costs for business — they should look at how we can modernize our entire standards system at the same time.”

— Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C.