The BC Pay Transparency Act (the “Act“) became law on May 11, 2023, but as discussed in our previous article, the Act lacked clarity with respect to the new obligations on employers, namely the requirement to:

  1. provide certain pay information in publicly advertised job postings as of November 1, 2023 (Part 2, section 2 of the Act); and
  2. prepare a pay transparency report each year for certain employers (Part 3, sections 5 to 8 of the Act).

Guidance on the Requirement to Include Pay information in Job Postings as of November 1, 2023

In mid-October, the BC Government provided guidance on wage or salary information on job postings (the “Guidance”) for BC employers. The Guidance clarifies the pay information that is required to be included in publicly posted job opportunities as of November 1, 2023, and details the job postings that are captured by this requirement, as discussed below.

Postings and Positions

According to the Guidance, the requirements which come into effect on November 1, 2023 apply to:

  • any job that is available to BC residents, regardless of whether it is advertised in BC or in another jurisdiction;
  • both in-person and remote positions; and
  • job postings posted directly by employers, or through a third party on behalf of the employer, such as “job search websites, job boards, and other recruitment platforms”.

The requirement does not apply to general recruitment campaigns or “help wanted” posters that do not advertise for specific opportunities.

Pay Information

With respect to the pay information that must be included in a publicly advertised job posting as of November 1, 2023, the Guidance states that employers:

  • Must specify either the expected salary or wage, or the expected salary or wage range, for the job.
  • Do not need to include information on bonuses, overtime, or other benefits on job postings, but can do so voluntarily.

At this time, the Government has not commented on how large the salary or wage range can be in a job posting. That said, the Guidance does state that employers cannot include an unspecified minimum or maximum amount. To use the example provided in the Guidance material:

  • “$20 per hour and up” or “up to $30 per hour” does not meet the requirement; but
  • “$20 – $30 per hour” does meet the requirement.

The Guidance specifies that a prospective employee can request, and the employer can agree to pay, a higher wage or salary than what was advertised in the job posting.

New Regulation Clarifying Pay Transparency Reporting Requirements

On October 23, 2023, the Pay Transparency Regulation (the “Regulation”) was introduced by Order in Council 576 to supplement the Act. As set out in our previous article linked above, the reporting requirements are introduced in stages based on number of employees.

The new Regulation provides much needed clarity regarding:

  • information to be collected by employers (section 2);
  • information to be included in the pay transparency reports (section 3);
  • time periods the transparency reports must cover (section 4);
  • method of calculation for comparing the ordinary (sections 5-6), overtime (sections 7-10) and bonus pay (sections 10-12) of employees who fall in each of the defined gender categories, namely man, woman, non-binary, and unknown; and
  • reporting information about percentage of each gender in specified income segments (section 13).

As the BC Government website on Pay transparency laws in B.C. indicated, employers are not required to report real wage data such as dollar amounts. Instead, the calculations involve determining the mean and median hourly rates of pay, overtime pay, and bonus pay, between the gender categories.  The website indicates that an online reporting tool is being developed to assist employers with preparing the reports.

Please contact a member of our Labour and Employment Group if you have any questions regarding the new pay transparency obligations in British Columbia.

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