October 25, 2023

Pay Transparency Act Update

In a previous post, we wrote about the introduction of the BC Pay Transparency Act (the “Act”) which came into force on May 11, 2023. The Act imposed various requirements on employers in BC that apply in stages in an attempt to address the pay gap, which negatively and disproportionately impacts women and gender and racial minority groups.[1] Some of these requirements applied to all employers in BC effective May 2023. Additional important requirements about job postings will apply to all employers in BC effective November 1, 2023.  The reporting requirements apply to employers in stages depending on the nature and size of the employer.[2]

May 2023

As of May 2023, the Act prohibited all employers from dismissing, suspending, demoting, disciplining, harassing or otherwise disadvantaging an employee, or threatening to do so, because the employee:[3]

  • 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.

Additionally, the Act prohibits employers from asking a job applicant about their pay with other employers and from seeking this information from third parties unless the job applicant’s pay history information is publicly accessible.

November 2023

As of November 1, 2023 all employers will be required to either specify the expected pay or expected pay range on any publicly advertised job posting. This requirement applies to all employers in BC regardless of size or industry. This requirement also applies to jobs advertised in other jurisdictions if the position is open to BC residents and “may ever be filled by someone living in BC, either in-person or remotely”.[4]

Recently the BC government published guidance clarifying the requirements with respect to job postings. Notably:[5]

  • The expected wage, salary or their range must be included within the job postings. For example, an employer may post:
    • $20 per hour
    • $20-$30 per hour
    • $50,000 per year
    • $50,000-$75,000 per year
  • If stating a wage or salary range, employers must not include an unspecified minimum or maximum amount (eg. “up to $30 per hour” or “$50,000 and up” do not meet the requirement)
  • At this time, there is no requirement on how large the pay range on a posting can be, this is left to the employer’s discretion;
  • Wage or salary information should be the employer’s reasonable expectation of pay for the job at the time of posting; however, an applicant may request and the employer may agree to a higher wage or salary than the amount posted;
  • Employers do not need to include bonus pay, overtime pay, tips, or benefits on job postings.

The requirements above do not apply to general help wanted postings and recruitment campaigns as long as such postings do not advertise a specific opportunity. Jobs that are not posted publicly are also not subject to these requirements.

Pay Transparency Reports

As we have written in our previous bulletin, some employers will be required to prepare a Pay Transparency Report on or before November 1st of each year. Which employers must complete these reports depends on the number of employees working for the employer. 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: [6]

  • 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 BC 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 an annual pay transparency report as of November 1, 2023.

Regulations are currently being developed that will provide further details on the Pay Transparency Report’s requirements, although these are not yet available.

[1] Province of British Columbia, “Pay transparency in B.C.”, online: Pay transparency in B.C.

[2] Province of British Columbia, “Pay transparency Laws in B.C.”, online: Pay transparency in B.C.

[3] Supra note 1.

[4] Province of British Columbia, “Guidance on wage or salary information on job postings”, online: Guidance on wage or salary information on job postings.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Supra note 1.


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