I work as an IT support tech at a company in British Columbia. Right now I work Monday to Friday 40 hours a week, normal daytime hours. I am paid salary, though my salary is based on the hourly wage I was making before they moved me to salary.
The industry I work in is Federally mandated, therefore provincial labour codes don't apply to us, only federal. According to the following government website, on-call employees are not considered to be working unless they are actually called in to work. https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/laws-regulations/labour/interpretations-policies/hours-work.html
While “stand-by” or “on-call” employees are common to many industries, the time spent waiting for a call is not considered work.
This is borne out by case law:
Richard Paré vs. S.R.J Expedite Limited (YM2727-2696): “A person who is available to work if needed, but who is not in fact needed, is not working.”
Bradley H. Bell vs. LTS Solutions (YM2727-3161): “I disagree with Mr. Bell’s position that being on call and having a company cell phone and vehicle at your residence necessarily means that you are at work. ...Carrying a pager may be an inconvenience and remaining within the pagers range is undoubtedly so but this does not turn being on standby into work”.
This makes sense, though I'm not sure if it applies to my specific situation, as I work over 40 hours a week, and then am expected to "make myself available" and keep my company cell phone with me on weekends just incase something happens.
I am one of two techs supporting over 250 users and we are both working like this. I can't go to the pub to drink with friends on a friday night without feeling guilty or worrying that someone is going to call me with some emergency while I'm 5 pints in. And I can't go out camping where there's no cell reception without letting my coworker and boss know beforehand. I feel like I haven't left the office since I first walked in.
The thing is, none of the On-call work is in writing anywhere, it's more of a heavy implication that I'm just expected to be available if someone from our remote offices calls my company cell phone with an "emergency".
Admittedly I only get a call every 2-3 weekends or so but it's not the calls themselves that are the issue. At least I get paid for those. The issue is the fact that I have to be available during my "time off" for these calls and when no one does call, I'm not paid for it.
Is there some kind of labour law in Canada that covers additional On-call hours on top of normal fulltime hours?
Edit for clarification: I suppose there are two outcomes I would be happy with. The first, I start getting paid for being on call. The second, I am no longer on-call every waking moment of my life. I don't mind being on-call, but I don't like working for free. So I guess my real question is, how do I achieve either of these two outcomes?
Additionally, my contract states that my hours will "remain flexible to fit company needs" not that I am to be on-call 24/7.
Also, if this question would be better served in the Law stack exchange, let me know and I will move this there.