In A Flash

The B.C. Government Introduces a New Legislation to Help Close the Gender Wage Gap

The British Columbia government introduced Bill 13 – 2023 Pay Transparency Act, (the “Act”) for first reading on March 7, 2023. Last week, on March 28, 2023 it passed second reading.

The Act, if passed into law, will take British Columbia out of the list of provinces that do not have a pay transparency or pay equity legislation. Currently, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, and British Columbia are the only provinces without such legislation.

The Act will:

  • Require all employers to specify the expected salary or wage range for their job postings.
  • Prohibit all employers from seeking pay history information about a job applicant by any means, whether directly from the applicant or through a third party, unless the pay history information is publicly accessible.
  • Prohibit all employers from adversely affecting, or threatening to adversely affect, employees who make inquiries to the employer about the employee’s pay, disclose their pay to co-workers or potential job applicants, make inquiries to the employer about a pay transparency report or information contained in a pay transparency report, ask the employer to comply with the employer’s obligations under the Act, or make a report to the director in relation to the employer’s compliance with the employer’s obligations under the Act.
  • Require “reporting employers” to prepare and publish a “pay transparency report”.

Reporting employers are:

  • Government employers and certain government agencies, namely British Columbia Housing Management Commission, British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority, British Columbia Lottery Corporation, British Columbia Transit, Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, Workers’ Compensation Board; and
  • Private sector employers with the following number of employees on January 1 of the 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 prescribed number.

Reporting employers will be required to prepare their pay transparency report on or before November 1 of each year, details of which will be provided by a regulation following the passing of the Act.

The pay transparency report must be published on the reporting employers’ websites. Those reporting employers who do not have a website are required to post a copy of the pay transparency report in their workplace so that it is available to the employees, and provide a copy to members of the public upon request.

If you have any questions about this topic or any other questions relating to workplace law, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer.

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