On March 7, 2023, the B.C. government introduced Bill 13 – Pay Transparency Act. The Bill received Royal Assent on May 11, 2023, and all provisions of the Act came into force on that same day except for section 2 (the provision on job postings) which will come into force on November 1, 2023.
The Government of British Columbia has stated that the new Pay Transparency Act aims to close the gender pay gap between men, women, and non-binary people by increasing the transparency of what employees are being paid.
The requirements under the Pay Transparency Act regarding job postings, pay history, and disclosing pay information apply to all employers in British Columbia regardless of size, except those covered by the federal Employment Equity Act. The requirements under the Pay Transparency Act to prepare a Pay Transparency Report only apply to certain government employers and employers of certain sizes.
As of November 1, 2023, all employers will need to either specify the expected pay or expected pay range, subject to any prescribed limitations, on any publicly advertised job posting.
General “help wanted” posters and general recruitment campaigns that do not advertise a specific job opportunity will not be captured by this requirement.
All employers are now prohibited from asking a job applicant about what they were paid with other employers and from seeking this information from third parties unless the job applicant’s pay history information is publicly accessible.
Disclosing Pay Information
All employers are now prohibited from dismissing, suspending, demoting, disciplining, harassing or otherwise disadvantaging an employee, or threatening to do so, because the employee:
- Asked their employer about their pay,
- Disclosed their pay to another employee or to a job applicant,
- Asked the employer about its pay transparency report or information contained within it,
- Asked the employer to comply with the Pay Transparency Act, or
- Gives information about their employer to the Director of Pay Transparency.
Pay Transparency Report
Employers of certain sizes are now required to prepare a Pay Transparency Report on or before November 1st of each year.
Employers who, as of January 1st of the applicable year, have the following number of employees will be required to prepare a pay transparency report:
- 2024: employers with 1,000 employees or more
- 2025: employers with 300 employees or more
- 2026: employers with 50 employees or more
- 2027 onwards: a number that may be less than 50 as prescribed at the time by the provincial government
The B.C. government and the six largest provincial Crown corporations (BC Hydro, BC Lottery Corporation, BC Housing, BC Transit, ICBC and WorkSafeBC) will be required to prepare a pay transparency report as of November 1, 2023.
The pay transparency report must be publicly accessible through an online website maintained by the employer. If the employer has no public website, a copy of the report must be posted in the workplace and must be provided to any member of the public who requests for it.
The B.C. government has stated that reporting employers will be required to make “reasonable efforts” to collect the prescribed information from their employees, including gender information according to the new Gender and Sex Data Standard and use this information to complete the Pay Transparency Report. The Pay Transparency Report will include details on pay gap differences in the hourly wages, overtime and/or bonuses received by men, women, and non-binary people.
Regulations are currently being developed for Fall 2023 that will provide further details on what will be required in the Pay Transparency Report. An online reporting tool will also be available to assist employers in preparing the report.
 https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/gender-equity/pay-transparency-laws-in-bc, https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/british-columbians-our-governments/services-policies-for-government/gender-equity/bc-pay-transparency-discussion-paper.pdf