B.C. employers must include salary or wage information when they advertise jobs, beginning on Wednesday (Nov. 1).
The new rules, covered under the Pay Transparency Act, means prospective employees will know how much they can expect to make prior to applying to any jobs. It also means they won’t have to reveal their pay history to employers and can discuss pay with current or future co-workers without fear of reprimand.
Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity Kelli Paddon said pay transparency will help ensure people are being offered the same wage for the same work. Part of their hope is that it will lessen the gender pay gap.
According to Statistics Canada, women in B.C. earned 17 per cent less than men in 2022. Average hourly wages for men were $35.50 while women earned an average of $29.53. That drops even lower for immigrant women who earned an average of $28.78, visible minority women who earned an average of $27.44 and Indigenous women who earned an average of $26.74.
Critics of the new rule, who spoke out when it was first announced last March, said it doesn’t go far enough to address pay inequity. They said B.C. needs laws that make it employers’ responsibility to identify and close pay gaps themselves.
Also rolling out Wednesday is the first phase of a requirement for employers to publicize gender pay reports. Provincial public service agencies and Crown corporations with more than 1,000 employees will be required to do so on Nov. 1. Meanwhile, all private employers with 1,000 employees or more will have to start reporting on Nov. 1, 2024, all employers with 300 employees or more will have to start reporting on Nov. 1, 2025, and those with 50 or more employees will have to start reporting on Nov. 1, 2026.