Legal News

BC’s Pay Transparency Act – What Employers Need to Know

The Pay Transparency Act (Bill 13) is now in effect in British Columbia. It received Royal Assent on May 11, 2023. British Columbia employers should familiarize themselves with these new requirements and take steps to ensure compliance.

The Pay Transparency Act includes the following notable changes to the law:

Job Postings – Effective November 1, 2023, employers must specify the expected salary or wage, or salary/wage ranges, for a job in any publicly advertised job opportunity.

Pay History Information –Employers can no longer seek pay history information about job applicants, through any means, unless the pay history information is publicly available.

No Reprisals –Employers are not permitted to dismiss, suspend, demote, discipline, harass or otherwise disadvantage an employee, or threaten to do so, because the employee:

  • asks their employer about their pay;
  • disclosed information about the employee’s pay to another employee or to a job applicant;
  • made inquiries about an employer’s pay transparency report or the information contained in the report;
  • asked the employer to comply with its obligations under the Act;
  • made a report to the Director of Pay Transparency regarding the employer’s compliance with the Act.

Pay Transparency Reports – Employers of a certain size will be required to collect information, prepare and post publicly on their website (or otherwise make available to employees and the public) a pay transparency report on or before November 1st each year. This requirement will come into effect in stages starting in November 2023, as follows:

  • As of November 1, 2023 – BC Public Service Agency and BC Hydro, BC Housing, BC Lottery Corp., BC Transit, WorkSafeBC, and ICBC;
  • As of November 1, 2024 – all employers with 1,000 employees or more as of January 1, 2024;
  • As of November 1, 2025 – all employers with 300 employees or more as of January 1, 2025;
  • As of November 1, 2026 – all employers with 50 employees or more as of January 1, 2026;

Further information regarding the required information and format for the reports is anticipated including in the form of regulations to the Act. We will continue to monitor for further developments in this area.

Now is an ideal time for employers to review their policies, practices, job postings, and employment contracts to ensure they are in compliance with the new Pay Transparency Act.

If you have questions regarding this article or the Pay Transparency Act, please contact Nicole C. Toye or your Harris lawyer.