BC’s Pay Transparency Act – What does it mean for your company?

BC’s Pay Transparency Act – What does it mean for your company?

Gender equality and equal opportunities in corporate business concept

If passed, the Pay Transparency Act proposed by the parliamentary secretary for gender equity, with support from the minister of labour, will apply to every employer in BC (including non-profit sector) except for those covered by the federal Employment Equity Act.

The Act outlines four main responsibilities for employers.

  1. As of November 1, 2023, employers must include pay/ salary or pay range/salary range in publicly advertised job opportunities.

  2. Employers cannot ask job applicants for the salary they were making at a previous job or request this information through a third party – unless it has been made public through pay equity reporting.

  3. Pay Secrecy
    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
    -Gives information to the Director of Pay Transparency about their employer

  4. Pay Transparency Report (through Director of Pay Equity)

Employers above a certain size will be required to complete and post pay transparency reports. This
requirement will apply in stages over the next four years:

  • November 1, 2023: B.C. government and the six largest Crown corporations, which are BC Hydro, BC Housing, BC Lottery Corp., BC Transit, ICBC, and Work Safe BC
  • November 1, 2024: all employers with 1,000 employees or more
  • November 1, 2025: all employers with 300 employees or more
  • November 1, 2026: all employers with 50 employees or more

BC’s Ministry of Labour will gather the data and publish a report to reflect outcomes and trends yearly. The report will also include information on non-compliance. While the Pay Transparency Act does not give any input on consequences for non-compliant companies, the act will give employees the opportunity to file a complaint under the Human Rights Code is they feel they are not being paid fairly. It should be expected that complaints will primarily address pay equity, meaning employees with the same job title and responsibilities not receiving the same amount of pay while working for the same company.

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