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Pay Transparency Act takes effect in British Columbia

All British Columbia employers must include transparent wage or salary information for publicly advertised jobs beginning effective Nov. 1, 2023. The new Pay Transparency Act, which passed on May 11, 2023, establishes new rules for B.C. employers requiring the disclosure of the expected pay or pay range for a specific job opportunity advertised publicly.

“People deserve equal pay for equal work,” said Kelli Paddon, the B.C. Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity. “Making sure transparent wage or salary information is included in all job posting helps make sure people are being offered the same pay for the same work. In addition to historic investments in child care and employment-and-skills training, this is another step forward as we continue to take action to address the pay gap.”

The act also precludes employers from asking job applicants about what they have been paid with previous employers. As well, employers “cannot dismiss, suspend, demote, discipline or harass an employee who asks their employer about their pay, reveals their pay to another employee or someone applying to work with their employer, asks the employer about its pay transparency report, or gives information to the Director of Pay Transparency about their employer.”

“Ensuring employers are transparent about workers’ wages is the step we are taking,” said Harry Bains, B.C.’s Minister of Labour. “This, along with other measures such as increasing the general minimum wage and eliminating the unfair liquor-server minimum wage, which impacted mostly women, brings us closer to closing the gender pay gap in B.C.”

Finally, the Act requires that employers begin to publicly post reports about their gender-pay gap.

As of Nov. 1, 2023, the BC Public Service Agency and Crown corporations and public agencies with more than 1,000 employees (ICBC, BC Hydro, WorkSafeBC, BC Housing, BC Lottery Corporation and BC Transit) will be required to report on their gender-pay gap publicly. On Nov. 1, 2024 all employers with 1,000 employees or more will be required to do so, followed be all employers with 300 employees or more on Nov. 1, 2025 and all employers with 50 employees or more on Nov. 1, 2026.

The Government of British Columbia has not yet released detailed information on what employers are required to report, with details being developed with the B.C. Public Service Agency and the six largest Crown corporations.