At a glance
As of 1 November 2023, all employers in British Columbia must specify the expected salary or wage range for all publicly advertised job opportunities. The government of British Columbia recently published a guidance document clarifying this requirement (the Guidelines).
In a previous post, we explained that the British Columbia Pay Transparency Act, S.B.C. 2023, c.18 (PTA) received Royal Assent on 11 May 2023. The PTA was introduced to help address inequalities and close the gender pay gap between men and women in British Columbia.
While the Guidelines do not have the same legal force as the PTA itself or any regulations that are published under the PTA in the future, the Guidelines are nevertheless a helpful clarification and insight into what will be expected of employers with respect to publishing salary or wage information.
The key takeaways for employers from the Guidelines are:
- Employers are only required to include an employee's expected base salary or wage in a job posting. Employers can voluntarily include additional details beyond the base salary or wage such as bonuses, benefits, commission, tips or overtime pay.
- The salary or wage range must have a specified minimum and maximum. For example, an employer would not be compliant with the PTA if the job advertisement described the salary or wage range as 'up to CAD 20 per hour' or 'CAD 20 per hour and up'. The examples provided of acceptable ranges include 'CAD 20-CAD 30 per hour' or 'CAD 40,000 – CAD 60,000 per year'. Currently, there are no guidelines as to how large the expected salary or wage range can be in a job advertisement, although limits may be set out by regulations in the future.
- Employers and applicants are not restricted by the expected salary or wage range advertised. Applicants can request a higher salary or wage than advertised. Similarly, employers can agree to pay a higher salary or wage than what was publicly advertised.
- The requirement to publish salary or wage information under the PTA applies to jobs advertised in jurisdictions outside of British Columbia as well, so long as the job in question is open to British Columbia residents and can be filled by someone living in British Columbia, either in-person or remotely.
- The requirement to publish salary or wage information applies to jobs posted by third parties on job search websites, job boards and other recruitment platforms on behalf of the employer.
- The requirement to publish salary or wage information does not apply to general 'help wanted' posters and recruitment campaigns that do not mention specific job opportunities; or job postings that are not posted publicly.
Employers should familiarise themselves with the new obligations around job postings and ensure that their hiring practices and policies comply. Further information regarding other requirements implemented by the PTA can be found here. If you need any assistance or further information, please contact any member of the DLA Piper Canadian Employment and Labour Law Service Group listed here.