On March 7, 2023, the British Columbia government introduced Bill 13, the Pay Transparency Act, in the British Columbia legislature. Once passed, the Pay Transparency Act will:
- require employers (unless exempted by regulation) to specify in job advertisements either the expected salary or wage for a job, or range of expected salary or wage (subject to limitations to be set out in regulations);
- prohibit employers from asking about an employee’s pay history from other positions (unless that information is publicly available, such as senior public servants);
- prohibit reprisals against employees who inquire about pay or disclose information about their pay to other employees;
- require the government to publish an annual report setting out differences among certain groups of individuals in relation to pay, a description of trends in relation to those differences, and the number and nature of reports of employer non-compliance in the year; and
- require “reporting employers” to prepare, on or before November 1 of each year, a pay transparency report.
A “reporting employer” is defined in the statute as government employers and certain government agencies and crown corporations, as well as private sector employers with the following numbers of employees on January 1 of each applicable year:
(a) for 2024, 1,000 or more;
(b) for 2025, 300 or more;
(c) for 2026, 50 or more;
(d) for a year after 2026, more than the lesser of 49 and any number set out in regulations.
The details of what will be required in pay transparency report will be established by regulation after Bill 13 passes into law.
Bill 13 also specifies that the newly created office of the Director of Pay Transparency must consult with affected Indigenous governing entities prior to completing an annual report.
All sections of the bill will come into effect on royal assent, except for the requirement to specify wages in a publicly advertised job opportunity, which is scheduled to take effect on November 1, 2023.
Bill 13 will undoubtedly be welcome news to employees and job seekers. For employers, the impact of Bill 13 on operations remains to be seen, dependent on the details established later by regulation.
The lawyers at Forte Workplace Law are experienced in helping employees understand their rights, as well as helping employers understand and comply with new regulatory obligations. We would be pleased to assist both employees and employers navigate the Pay Transparency Act once it becomes law.
This blog is not intended to serve as legal advice, and only provides general information. Every situation must be considered on its own facts. Need legal advice? Contact us by phone at 604 535-7063 or email [email protected].