• Compensation

  January 24, 2024

BC’s New Pay Transparency Act

For all BC employers, BC’s new Pay Transparency Act is now in effect. The purpose of the new legislation is to close the gender pay gap which is the first step towards pay equity. Pay equity means all are paid the same wage for the same job. When salary is transparent, as is the goal of pay transparency, it helps level the playing field. Pay transparency reduces entrenched biases around pay and is a concerted effort to close racial and gender pay disparity.

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Employers need to understand the Pay Transparency Act to ensure they comply with new requirements that came into effect on May 11, 2023. The purpose of this act is to ensure employees are paid fairly and treated equally as the pay gap affects Indigenous women, women of color, immigrant women, women with disabilities and non-binary people. This new pay transparency legislation is the first step to pay equity.

Navigating new rules can be intimidating. To try to make things clearer for employers, the HR team at go2HR has compiled some basic information to help get you started on this process. If you want to reach out to your regional HR consultant to learn more, please contact them here.

Here are some frequently asked questions about the legislation:

Question: Why does BC have a new pay transparency legislation?

Answer: The new legislation is intended to help close the gender pay gap by addressing systemic discrimination in the workplace. BC is the province with one of the widest gender pay gaps in Canada- a difference of 17% according to Statistics Canada.

Question: Do I have to disclose expected wage or salary information when I post jobs?

Answer: As of November 1, 2023, all BC employers must disclose wage information under the new requirements unless they are federally regulated.

You are allowed to post a range for a job with a minimum and a maximum dollar value, such as $20 to $25 per hour based on experience.  You are not allowed to post wage ranges such as “up to $25 an hour based on experience.”

Question: Can I ask people about their pay history when they apply for a job with my company?

Answer: No. This is now considered prohibited conduct under the new legislation.  You can still ask them about their pay expectations.

Question:  My business has a policy that pay rates are confidential information.  Is this still allowed?

Answer: You are not required to share internal salaries with your staff and can treat them as confidential, but you cannot enforce that confidentiality to your staff regarding their salary.

Employees have the right to share their salary with others, including candidates and co-workers without repercussions.  They also have the right to ask you about their pay rate compared to their peers.

Question:  Does my business now need to complete Pay Transparency reports?

The timing of reporting requirements varies by business size, and currently, there are no reporting requirements for businesses with less than 50 employees.

The report is due on November 1st of the specific year, and reporting requirements will apply to employers with the following number of employees on January 1 of the specified year:

  • 2023: BC’s 6 largest crown corporations;
  • 2024: 1,000+ employees;
  • 2025: 300+ employees;
  • 2026: 50+ employees.

Reports are to be posted on a publicly accessible website as soon as they are complete.

For greater details about the Pay Transparency Act, including frequently asked questions about pay transparency reports, please view the full article from the BC Government. Have other HR-related questions? Reach out to our HR Team.

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