Commissioned Salespeople – Special Rules and Exemptions

The Employment Standards Act (British Columbia) starts from the presumption that employees who get some or all of their pay in commissions are entitled to be paid at least minimum wage for all hours worked, overtime for all overtime hours, and for statutory holidays. There are some special rules and exemptions:

Commissioned employees are exempt from sections 35 and 40 of the Act (overtime) and Part 5 (statutory holidays) as long as what is paid in a pay period is greater than what would have been earned under those provisions based on minimum wage or “base rate”, whichever is greater. “Base rate” is the base hourly rate or salary before commission as stated in the contract of employment, or the “regular wage” as defined in the Act, before adding commission earnings.

The minimum wage, overtime (Part 4) and statutory holiday (Part 5) requirements of the Act don’t apply to commissioned employees selling or leasing:

  • sailing or motor vessels; or
  • heavy industrial or agricultural equipment.

The hours of work and overtime provisions of Part 4, except the prohibition against working excessive hours, don’t apply to commissioned employees selling or leasing:

  • automobiles or trucks; or
  • recreational vehicles or campers.

Statutory holiday requirements don’t apply to commissioned employees selling or leasing:

  • automobiles or trucks, if the employee is paid, in place of statutory holiday pay, 3.6% of gross wages on each pay cheque; or
  • recreational vehicles or campers.

There is also a special requirement for paying commissioned employees selling or leasing:

  • automobiles or trucks; or
  • recreational vehicles or campers,

so that in the first pay of each month they get at least minimum wage for all hours worked, at the request of the employer, in that pay period.

base rate commissions Employment Standards exemptions holidays minimum wage overtime sales salespeople statutory holidays vacation wages

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