We’ve got some great news, Vancouver. On Tuesday, March 7th, BC introduced new legislation to help close the gender pay gap in the province through greater salary transparency.
Once passed, all employers will be required to include wage or salary ranges on all publically advertised jobs starting November 1st, according to the release.
According to Stats Canada, women in BC earned 17% less than men last year. And for racialized and Indigenous women, the pay gap is even higher. In 2022, Indigenous women working full-time earned an average of $26.74 per hour, whereas men made an hourly average of almost ten dollars more at $35.50 an hour.
“People deserve equal pay for equal work. We’ve been taking action to close the pay gap since 2017 with investments in child care and training, and increases to the minimum wage. Today, we’re taking the next step – all employers need to be transparent about what people are being paid to close the pay gap between men and women,” said Kelli Paddon, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity.
What’s more, employers will no longer be able to ask prospective employees for pay history information, or penalize those who disclose their salary to co-workers or potential job applicants. These changes will go into effect as soon as the legislation is passed.
Starting this November, employers will gradually be required to post public reports on their gender pay gap:
- November 1st, 2023: BC Public Service Agency and Crown corporations with more than 1,000 employees (ICBC, BC Hydro, WorkSafeBC, BC Housing, BC Lottery Corporation and BC Transit)
- November 1st, 2024: All employers with 1,000+ employees
- November 1st, 2025: All employers with 300+ employees
- November 1st, 2026: All employers with 50+ employees
“Being transparent about the wages an employer pays its workers brings us one step closer to reducing the gender pay gap,” said Harry Bains, Minister of Labour. “Our government is committed to working together to eliminate wage discrimination and empowering all workers.”
Finally, regulations are in the works for the fall that will outline how employers are required to report on the pay gap, as Indigenous women, women of colour, immigrants, and those with disabilities are disproportionately affected.
According to the release, the pay gap reports will go beyond the gender binary. BC will review ways to safely collect data from employees using the province’s Gender and Sex Data Standard and the new Anti-Racism Data Act.
Note that pay discrimination is prohibited in BC under the Human Rights Code. If employees are experiencing discrimination in the workplace, including pay discrimination, they can file a claim with the BC Human Rights Tribunal.