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Professional Engineers are Employment Standards Act Exempt.

Izzie Egan

Professional Engineers are Employment Standards Act Exempt – But not all members of your firm are!

In Canada, Professional Engineers are exempt from some employment standards under certain circumstances. This exemption is based on the understanding that professional engineers hold specialized skills and knowledge that are not common in the general workforce.

One of the primary reasons for the exemption is that Professional Engineers are regulated by provincial and territorial engineering associations that enforce ethical and professional standards. The associations set standards for engineering education, training, and experience, and they certify engineers who meet these requirements. The certification process is designed to ensure that Professional Engineers have the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience to practice engineering competently and ethically.

Given the rigorous certification process and ongoing professional development requirements, it is assumed that Professional Engineers are knowledgeable about employment standards and employee rights. Therefore, they are exempt from certain employment standards. (For example maximum hours of work and overtime pay, as they are deemed to have the professional expertise to negotiate their employment contracts.)

It is important to note that the exemption only applies to individuals who are licensed as Professional Engineers by a provincial or territorial engineering association. Those who are not licensed as Professional Engineers are still covered by employment standards legislation in Canada. Additionally, the exemption does not always apply to all employment standards. There may be situations where Professional Engineers are still entitled to certain employment rights and protections depending on the ESA Governance.

Why Engineering Firms use BLANKSLATE Partners:

  1. Expertise: We have specialized knowledge and experience in the field of human resources, including recruitment, employee relations, benefits administration, and compliance with employment laws and regulations. Small engineering companies may not have a dedicated HR department or staff with this level of expertise. It is beneficial to bring in outside consultants who can provide guidance and support.
  2. Flexibility: Small engineering companies may not have the resources or need for a full-time HR staff member. BLANKSLATE Partners can provide flexible support. We work on a project-by-project basis or on an as-needed basis. This allows you to receive the support you need without the added cost of a full-time employee.
  3. Cost-effective: Hiring BLANKSLATE Partners can be a cost-effective solution for small engineering companies. The cost of hiring an HR consultant is typically less than hiring a full-time HR staff member. Additionally, we can provide a range of services, such as training, performance management, and policy development. This will save the company time and money in the long run.


Are you a growing Engineering company? Do you need HR support? If so, please reach out to Izzie@blankslate.partners      We are experts in providing support to growing firms.