March 15, 2015
The Ministry of Labour Employment Practices Branch has confirmed that those who install and maintain irrigation systems are now included in the program’s policy on exemptions that apply to persons employed as landscape gardeners.

Employers of landscape gardeners are exempt from the requirement to pay overtime. The exemption covers landscape maintenance (raking, watering, weeding); planting or moving plants including hedges, trees or shrubs; preparing the ground for planting; caring for established lawns; trimming, pruning and maintaining plants including hedges, trees, and shrubs; installing rock gardens, ponds, and planters; park gardening; and golf course greens-keeping.

Now added to the list are employees who install and maintain irrigation systems (including both drip lines and sprinklers) where the irrigation system contributes to sustaining and maintaining plants (including sod, trees, shrubs and flowers).

The program’s revised policy will appear in the update to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 Policy and Interpretation Manual, published on February 20.

The Program considers employees engaged in the following activities to fall outside the definition of a person employed as a landscape gardener: Persons employed by a landscaping company who do not perform landscaping work (e.g. administrative employees, landscape architects/designers, and truck drivers); builders of retaining walls for purely, or substantially, structural purposes; installers of lighting systems; persons involved in weed spraying of roads and industrial sites.