Next summer I am going to work for my parents. They own the company. Do they need to pay me minimum wage?

I'm 14. It is a gas fitting company. And I live in Canada. BC

  • 1
    Get paid minimum wage, yes; at minimum! Are you legally allowed to work "on the books", that is a whole different topic. If I had to guess then they are paying you in straight cash and it's "under the table". – MonkeyZeus Oct 3 '16 at 12:50
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    It may be relevant to post what province you work in. – Joe Oct 3 '16 at 14:24
  • A shrewd move for new hires wanting to get a better starting wage is to have competing offers from other potential employers. Are there other businesses in the area who'd be interested in employing you? What'd they pay? Is family loyalty and the training/experience on offer enough to make you stick with your folks' company rather than doing something else for someone else if you saw another perhaps better opportunity? – timday Oct 3 '16 at 16:52
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    I'm a little offended by all the "of course they want to do it under the table" assumptions here. I hired my children and it was all above board and reported. There is great advantage to the firm in doing that - we can deduct the salary - and no downside to the child because their income is low enough they don't pay any tax. So why the assumptions of the opposite? – Kate Gregory Oct 4 '16 at 15:32
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    Timday good point but to me The fact that it's a family owned business and being able to be taught by my father is enough to make me stick with them at least for now. – nomnomnom Oct 4 '16 at 19:05

Yes they do.

Here is the main page on minimum wage for the province of British Columbia.

This page lists exemptions from BC minimum wage laws, but there are none for working in a family business, or for being underage. Students are exempted only if they are on approved work study.

Generally all provinces apply minimum wage laws to every employee.

  • 3
    I think it is also worth pointing out: the parents are not the ones paying this person, the company is. Unless it's under the table of course. – Nij Oct 4 '16 at 4:58
  • Good answer with details - as the OP has now clarified they live in BC, you may want to update to contain the BC statute. – Joe Oct 4 '16 at 19:05

There is actually a restriction on how high a wage they can pay you. There didn't use to be, but now it has to be reasonable for the work you are doing, so they can't pay you $100/hr while other people doing the same work get minimum wage.

You might ask why on earth a parent would want to pay a child way more than they're worth? The salary is tax deductible to the company. Then the child pays their "expenses" - hockey fees and equipment, field trips, birthday presents for their friends and so on - out of the money the company paid them. They also save for their post-secondary education. The rest of the family budget now has a little more room, and the parents can lower their own salaries if they have expensive children. This means more net money in the company and less total income tax paid by the family for the same total income.

My concern is that if your parents don't know whether or not you must be paid minimum wage (you must, there's no family exemption) then they also don't know whether you should have EI deducted (probably not) and various other special cases like eligibility for summer student subsidies. The firm's accountant should be able to help with these things and the company should know all this. It's not the role of a 14 year old to ask the Internet how to run a business, the business owners should know it.

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    They do know but they say that when I get a job I need to be able to do things on my own. Like make sure I'm getting paid the proper amount – nomnomnom Oct 4 '16 at 19:03

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