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BC Pay Transparency Act: Dos & Don’ts for BC Employers

With the passing of the BC Pay Transparency Act in May 2023, BC employers are required to adhere to new guidelines when communicating pay information to current and potential employees.

Staying on top of new regulatory changes can be overwhelming. This blog post serves as a guide to support BC employers as they navigate their paths towards pay equity and to help ensure compliance with the obligations under the Pay Transparency Act.

Dos and Don’ts for BC Employers

DON’T ask for pay history information from job applicants. There are a few key reasons why:

  1. It reinforces existing pay disparities. Requesting pay history information can anchor a candidate’s future salary to their past earnings. If an applicant has been underpaid in previous roles due to discrimination or negotiation skills, this practice can perpetuate pay gaps.
  2. It can amplify the gender pay gap. Women, minorities, and other marginalized groups have historically been paid less than their counterparts. Asking for pay history can disproportionately affect these individuals, as they are more likely to have lower historical earnings due to systemic biases.
  3. It detracts from the emphasis on an applicant’s skill and value. The hiring process should focus on the applicant’s skills, qualifications, and the value they bring to your organization. Evaluating candidates based on their past earnings detracts from the essence of their potential contributions.

DO include the expected pay / expected pay range in your publicly advertised job ads for specific roles (effective November 1, 2023).

  1. DO: “$20-$30 per hour” or “$50,000-70,000 per year”
  2. DON’T: “$20 per hour and up” or “start at $50,000 per year”

DON’T punish employees who:

  • Disclose pay-related information to other employees,
  • Ask about their pay,
  • Reveal their pay to another employee or someone applying to work with your company,
  • Ask you, as the employer, about your pay transparency report, and / or
  • Give information to the Director of Pay Transparency about your compliance with the Act’s obligations.

DO promote open and transparent communication about pay equity within your organization. Create an environment where employees feel comfortable discussing their pay and seeking clarification without fear of retribution.

DON’T include the expected pay / expected pay range for jobs that aren’t publicly advertised. While not mandatory, employers can include the pay range if they wish.

DO rely on publicly available information to act as a guideline for the pay for a similar position. Use the resources available to you! For example, check out other job advertisements, pay transparency reports from other employers, job sites such as Indeed or LinkedIn, or other accessible information you find online.

DON’T overlook career progression. Pay transparency should extend beyond base salaries. Ensure that career advancement opportunities and promotions are also transparent and free from bias.

DO use the pay history information already on file about employees to determine the pay for a new position. However, be mindful of how this might perpetuate existing pay gaps if you have not yet revisited your pay structure as an employer.

DON’T include the expected pay / expected pay range in general “now hiring” or “help wanted” ads that don’t advertise a specific opportunity. This is not expected of employers; however, you may include the pay range if you would like to.

Final Thoughts

By following these dos and avoiding the don’ts, employers can foster a culture of pay transparency, promote pay equity, and create a more inclusive workplace for all employees, ensuring equitable recognition for their contributions.

Looking for more information about the Pay Transparency Act and how it impacts BC employers? Check out our summary here!

Questions? Don’t hesitate to connect with our team!

We’re here to help you stay compliant as BC rolls out this new act.