Multi-lingual phone line improves accessibility

posted on January 10, 2019

By BC GOV News |

For speakers of Hausa, Cebuano or one of over 100 other languages, real-time access to information about B.C.’s employment standards, in their native tongue, is now just a phone call away.

“With this new toll-free phone service, people will find it easier to obtain information about their employment rights and obligations,” said Harry Bains, Minister of Labour. “Everyone should be able to have their questions answered. This is especially important for people who experience language barriers.”

The toll-free number provided through the Employment Standards Branch, which is partnering with Service BC to pilot the program, is 1 833 236-3700. Operators are available Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Pacific time) and will assist people with a real-time translator who stays on the phone with the caller to help them get the information they need.

“Speaking directly with government staff is one of the most convenient and effective ways British Columbians can find information on provincial programs and services,” said Jinny Sims, Minister of Citizens’ Services. “The ability to talk with knowledgeable staff in a variety of languages will help ensure all workers in B.C. know their rights.”
The multi-lingual option is a pilot and will be available until March 31, 2019. The Ministry of Labour will evaluate the program and the feedback it receives to decide whether to make this service permanent.

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