Employee - Definition of

Topic: Employee - Definition of Issued by: Director, Compliance & Regulatory Review
Statute: Occupational Health and Safety Act Date Issued: June 13, 2019
Section: 1 Date Revised:

“employee” means

(a) a person employed at or in a place of employment, or

(b) a person at or in a place of employment for any purpose in connection therewith;

What does “for any purpose in connection therewith” mean?

A person is considered an employee when they perform work-related duties at or in a place of employment, and their employer is subject to New Brunswick’s OHS Act.

This includes individuals who are not in traditional employment relationships. These persons may be employed by the employer, another employer, be a volunteer, or be self-employed; however, they must be conducting work-related duties while at the place of employment. Examples of these types of employees are:

  • Sales people
  • Volunteers
  • Employees of contractors (painters, welders, electricians on a construction site, etc.)
  • Delivery personnel (truck drivers, couriers, etc.).

Who are not considered employees?

Individuals who are not performing work-related duties at the place of employment, either for themselves or other employers, are not considered employees. Examples may include, but are not limited to:

  • Patients at a medical clinic
  • Customers in a store or a mall
  • Individuals present at a place of employment for personal reasons (such as visiting friends)
  • An unsolicited salesperson who has been asked to leave the premises, but remains on-site (such as a trespasser)

Are students considered employees?

Students attending classes at an educational facility are not considered employees of the educational facility.

Students who are working or performing work-related duties outside of the classroom on placement programs (co-operative programs, apprenticeship programs, etc.) are considered employees of the placement employer and not of the educational facility. This means that the student now has rights under the OHS Act, and the placement employer is responsible for that student’s health and safety.

If I work from home, am I considered an employee?

The OHS Act excludes private homes and their premises from being considered a place of employment. As a result, individuals working at a private home would not be considered employees unless:

  • Work is being performed on the private home that was contracted to an employer who has one or more employees. The private dwelling is then considered to be a project site while it is under construction.
  • A business operates out of the private home. In this case, only the portion of the residence that is used for the business is considered a place of employment. For example, a hair salon operating out of the basement of a private home.
  • An employee works from home either occasionally or permanently. These persons remain employees of the employer even when they are working from home, though the employer does not have day-to-day control over the premises.

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