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Exploring Pay Transparency and Organizational Values

Exploring Pay Transparency and Organizational Values

Trust. Personal Responsibility. Connection. Integrity. Teamwork. Excellence.

What do all of these have in common?

Well, these are all common organizational values that I have seen and experienced over the years. I bet they are familiar to you as well when reading them in that context.

Organizational values are the guiding principles that define the culture and behaviour of an organization. These values are often displayed on company websites and walls and are usually communicated to new employees during onboarding.

However, for these values to be truly effective and serve their purpose, they must be reflected in the behaviours and decisions of the organization and its team members.

A Bit of Background: BC’s Pay Transparency Act

In May 2023, British Columbia passed new legislation, The Pay Transparency Act. 

The intention of this legislation was designed to ensure there is fair pay within every organization operating with employees in British Columbia.  The idea of the BC Pay Transparency Act is that with pay equity, there will be stronger communities.  

Did you know that in British Columbia alone, studies have proven that women are earning 17% less than men? And it shouldn’t be a surprise that this gap extends even further for Indigenous women, women of colour, and immigrant women, as well as women with disabilities and non-binary people. 

So what does BC’s Pay Transparency Act have to do with organizational values you ask?  

The answer…EVERYTHING. 

Understanding How Pay Transparency and Organizational Values Work in Tandem 

Pay transparency is openly sharing information about employee compensation strategies within an organization. This can include information about salaries, bonuses, and other forms of compensation.  

When you consider organizational values of trust, connection and integrity (to name a few), how can we, as organizations truly admit to living into these values in their truest and highest potential when there are significant wage gaps? How do you foster teamwork within, when employee A is making 17% more money than employee B doing the exact same work?  

When organizations and employees are not making business decisions that reflect their core values, the workforce can become resentful. It can even further lead to decreased morale, productivity, and a higher turnover rate.  

Of course, implementing pay transparency has its challenges. In fact, you may be reading this hesitant to share information about pay due to concerns about confidentiality or the potential for employee tension. However, with careful planning and communication, these challenges can be overcome. And that’s something we can support with!

On the other hand, organizations that are transparent about pay can create a culture of trust and fairness, which can lead to higher employee engagement and retention.  

BC Employers: Your Pay Transparency Obligations

As part of the Pay Transparency Act, organizations must submit pay transparency reports every year to hold themselves and others accountable, while also bridging the gap. This reporting has a phased approach and for the next three years, employers with employees in BC must submit a yearly report. Here are the details of who and when: 

  • By November 1, 2024: all employers with 1,000 employees or more will be required to begin posting annual pay transparency reports 
  • By November 1, 2025: all employers with 300 employees or more will be required to begin posting annual pay transparency reports 
  • By November 1, 2026: all employers with 50 employees or more will be required to begin posting annual pay transparency reports

Final Thoughts 

Organizational values become truly embodied when reflected in the behaviour and decisions of the organization and its team members. When it comes to pay transparency, this means being open and honest about employee compensation. By doing so, organizations can create a culture of trust and fairness, improve employee morale and retention, and help to close the gender pay gap.

Pay transparency reports are due in 2024. Looking for support in creating a compliant report, on time?

Additional Resources 

Interested in learning more about BC’s Pay Transparency Act? Check out our other blog posts below: 

  1. BC’s Pay Transparency Act: Dos & Don’ts as a BC Employer 
  2. BC’s New Pay Transparency Act: What it Means for BC Employers