SAINT JOHN (GNB) – The provincial government is proposing regulatory changes to the Employment Standards Act that would affect the employment status of athletes.

“Here in New Brunswick, we have many outstanding amateur sports teams and organizations,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault. “Each team contributes to the social fabric of its community in a meaningful way, while also providing numerous positive economic spinoffs and benefits. That is why your government is pleased to bring forward proposed regulations that will help ensure the longevity of these teams and organizations for years to come.”

The proposed regulations would exempt amateur athletes from the following provisions of the act while they are engaged in activities related to their athletic endeavours:

  • vacations;
  • paid public holidays;
  • minimum wage;
  • hours of work and weekly rest periods; and
  • protection with respect to dismissal and termination of employment.

Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and British Columbia all have similar employment standards legislation with respect to amateur athletes.

“The provincial government has shown great leadership in making this decision not just for junior hockey players but for all athletes across the province,” said Trevor Georgie, president and general manager of the Saint John Sea Dogs. “We have always believed that our players are not employees and we are pleased that the Government of New Brunswick will confirm this. Several other provinces have provided the same exemption.”

The draft regulations are posted for public review for 30 days. The public has until May 5 to visit the Public Review of Draft Regulations website to submit ideas and feedback. People may also submit feedback by emailing labourtravail@gnb.ca, by phoning 1-844-453-4155 or faxing 506-453-3780.