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  • Jordan Strate

Is British Columbia Setting a New Standard? - Embracing Pay Transparency

Updated: May 17

Pay transparency is an important part of maintaining fairness in your workplace. By clarifying your compensation practices, pay transparency aims to address wage gaps and promote equity. Earlier this year the government of British Columbia introduced new legislation that called for more accountability from employers. In this post, we’ll delve into the importance of pay transparency, explore this new legislation, and discuss the potential impact it may have on British Columbia’s workforce.



A payroll employee embraces transparency


Pay transparency is the practice of openly sharing information about compensation. This includes salary ranges, wage scales, and other important details that creates a dialogue between employers and employees. Pay transparency aims to promote fairness, eliminate wage disparity, and improve accountability. It’s been used to address the gender pay gap, ensure equal pay for equal work, and provide employees with insights into their earning potential.


On March 7, 2023, British Columbia took a proactive stance towards pay transparency by implementing new legislation that requires employers to disclose compensation information to employees. According to government figures, women in BC made on average 17% less than men in 2022, this is the second largest pay gap in Canada (behind Alberta). The Pay Transparency Act is a significant step forward in fostering a more equitable work environment.


As of November 1, 2023 the Pay Transparency Act will require all employers to include the expected salary, wage, salary range for all external job postings. This provision will help potential candidates make informed decisions about applying for a position and promotes greater transparency in the recruitment process.


The Pay Transparency Act will also mandate that employers are not permitted to ask an applicant for their pay history, unless the information is publicly available.


The Pay Transparency Act also grants employees the right to discuss compensation without fear of reprisal. Employers cannot discipline employees asking their employer about their pay or sharing their pay information with other employees or applicants. This not only encourages an open dialogue between employees and employers but empowers employees to address any pay disparities or discrepancies they may observe, promoting a culture of fairness and equality.


Employers are also required to complete and post annual transparency reports to be phased in over a four year period. While the content of these reports will be regulated the provincial government intends for these reports to expose gaps in pay for certain groups of employees.


The introduction of pay transparency legislation in British Columbia has great potential. By requiring employers to disclose salary information, it equips job seekers with information that allows them to evaluate opportunities more accurately and to negotiate competitive compensation. Additionally, it encourages businesses to assess and address any pay disparities that may exist within their workforce, which leads to a more equitable and inclusive workplace.


The Pay Transparency Act also promotes accountability and transparency by businesses. Employers will need to critically examine their compensation practices and ensure that they align with the principles of fairness and equal pay for equal work. This legislation can act as a catalyst for organizations to be proactive in addressing pay gaps and will create opportunities for their employees to succeed.


The new pay transparency legislation in British Columbia marks a significant milestone in the changing world of fairness and equality in the workplace. By requiring employers to disclose salary information the legislation empowers individuals to make more informed decisions about their careers and promotes greater accountability in compensation practices. As businesses embrace pay transparency, British Columbia's labor market stands to become more equitable, helping to make all employees feel valued, and minimize wage disparity.

 

Province of British Columbia, “Pay Transparency Laws in B.C.” online: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/gender-equity/pay-transparency-laws-in-bc


Roper Greyell, "Show Me The Money" online: https://ropergreyell.com/resource/show-me-the-money/


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