Purpose of the Act
Job Posting Requirements
The requirement to post wage and salary information applies to all employers, including those based outside of British Columbia, who post a publicly available job opportunity that is open to BC residents and that may ever be filled by a BC resident, either in-person or remotely. To comply with the Act, Employers will need to specify either an expected salary or wage (i.e. $20 per hour or $50,000 per year) or an expected salary or wage range (i.e. $20-$30 per hour or $50,000-70,000 per year). A statement that the compensation will be "$20 per hour and up" or "start at $50,000 per year" will not meet the requirements in the Act. At this time, the provincial government has not limited how large the advertised salary or wage range may be; the determination of the range is up to the employer and should reflect the employer's expectation of what the range will be.
There is no requirement for employers to provide additional compensation information regarding bonus pay, overtime pay, tips, or benefits in a publicly advertised job opportunity. Employers do not need to provide salary or wage information for opportunities that are not posted publicly or for general recruitment campaigns not limited to any specific opportunity.
The Act requires certain employers to prepare annual Pay Transparency Reports available to all employees and the public, including information about differences among prescribed groups of individuals in relation to pay, a description of trends in relation to the differences in pay for the prescribed groups of individuals, the number of reports of the employer's non-compliance with the Act and the nature of those reports, and any other prescribed information. The British Columbia government and the largest provincial Crown corporations are required to publish their first annual pay transparency reports by November 1, 2023. After 2023, private employers will need to prepare their first annual Pay Transparency Report and make it available to all employees and the public as follows:
Prohibition on Inquiries Regarding Pay History and Retaliation
In addition to posting and reporting obligations, the Act prohibits employers from asking job applicants for information about their pay history, unless the information is publicly available. The Act further prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for:
Impact of the Act
Employers will need to revise their publicly available job advertisements to ensure that the language in the advertisements complies with the requirements of the Act. Employer representatives will need to ensure they are aware of their obligations under the Act, including the prohibition on inquiries regarding pay history and reprisals.
As the Act will make salary or wage information available to employees from the outset, employees may be better able to determine whether the compensation for a specific role is aligned with their expectations. However, the Act does not prohibit employees from negotiating the salary or wage associated with a role, and access to the salary or wage information associated with a position may empower an employee to negotiate higher compensation than they would have otherwise received. Employers will need to be ready for employees to be better equipped to negotiate compensation.
We will continue to update you regarding new obligations related to pay transparency as more details emerge. If you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact the authors or your regular Fasken lawyer.
Please note the following updates to this article:
About the Authors:
David G. Wong is a Partner and co-leader of the Labour, Employment and Human Rights group, he is also the leader of the firm's national Human Rights practice. His practice includes advice to and representation of organizations in all areas of human rights law as well as in the areas of labour and employment law.
Naya G.K Dhatt is a labour, employment, and human rights lawyer in Fasken's Vancouver office, providing practical and effective legal advice to a broad range of employers.