The Pay Transparency Act came into force on May 11 2023.  It places new requirements on employers to address systemic discrimination in the workplace.  It has immediate and future implications for employers.

When it comes to recruiting or hiring new employees, employers can no longer ask job applicants about what they have been paid at positions with other employers.  As of November 1 2023, employers must include the expected pay or the expected pay range for a specific job opportunity they advertise publicly.

When it comes to managing the workplace, 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
  • Asks the employer about its Pay Transparency Report
  • Gives information to the Director of Pay Transparency about their employer

Employers of a certain size will be required to complete and post Pay Transparency Reports.  This will be phased in over the next four years.

November 1 2023: The BC Government and the six largest Crown Corporations

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

The Pay Transparency Report will be in a prescribed form set by the BC Government.  Details of what must be included in the report are still being developed, but the expectation is that the information gathered will be designed to show gaps in pay for certain groups.  The press release from the BC Government notes that the pay gap disproportionately impacts Indigenous women, women of colour, and immigrant women, as well as women with disabilities and those who identify as non-binary.  This suggests that information broader than simply gender will need to be collected and reported.  It is also expected that “pay” is going to include more than just salary, wage or commission.  It will likely also include bonuses, incentives and money that is paid at the discretion of the employer that is not related to hours, production or efficiency.

The employer must use reasonable efforts to obtain the required information from its employees, but the employee needs to be told that disclosure is voluntary.  The employer must also publish its report on a publicly accessible website.  If they do not have a website, the employer must make a copy available to any employee or member of the public who requests one.

If you are an employer and have questions about how the Pay Transparency Act will affect you, please contact Morelli Chertkow at 250-374-3344.

Disclaimer: This is not legal advice

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