Earlier this week, the BC Government introduced Bill 13 – 2023: the Pay Transparency Act (the “PTA”). We discuss below the changes that have the greatest potential to affect employers.
New Duty to Publish Salary or Wage Information for Publicly Advertised Job Opportunities
The PTA will require employers, unless exempt by regulation, to specify the expected salary or wage range on all publicly advertised job opportunities. This requirement will come into force as of November 1, 2023, regardless of whether or not the PTA as a whole has come into force by that date.
Prohibition on Asking Job Applicant About Pay History
Under the PTA, an employer will not be able to seek pay history information about a job applicant’s pay history by any means. This prohibition includes asking the applicant directly for this information or asking through a third party. This prohibition will not apply where pay history information is publicly available.
Prohibition Against Retaliation
The PTA prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee who makes inquiries to their employer about their pay or discloses their pay to other employees or prospective employees, among other things. Retaliation includes the act, or threat, of dismissal, suspension, demotion, discipline, harassment, or any form of workplace disadvantage.
New Reporting Requirements for Certain Employers
The PTA introduces reporting requirements for certain employers (“Reporting Employers”). This requirement is being introduced in stages, by number of employees, to give employers advance notice to prepare. Reporting Employers include employers that have the following number of employees in the applicable year:
- For 2023: BC Public Service Agency and Crown Corporations with more than 1,000 employees (ICBC, BC Hydro, WorkSafeBC, BC Housing, BC Lottery Corporation and BC Transit);
- For 2024: 1,000 employees or more;
- For 2025: 300 employees or more; and
- For 2026: 50 employees or more.
Reporting Employers will be required to prepare an annual pay transparency report on or before November 1 of each year to be distributed to all employees and published on a publicly accessible website, among other things. The pay transparency report will include information about the Reporting Employer, the composition of its workforce and the differences in pay in relation to employees’ self-identified gender and other characteristics.
Bill 13 is currently at first reading in the Legislative Assembly of B.C. We will continue to monitor this important legislation and provide updates as they arise.
If you would like more information about the PTA or have any questions about how the PTA may affect your workplace, please contact a member of our Labour, Employment & Human Rights Group.
Katy Allen is a partner in the Labour, Employment and Human Rights Group in Vancouver. Katy approaches legal issues with pragmatism and a focus on each client’s unique business needs. She advises and represents clients regarding a ...
Miny is an associate in the Labour, Employment and Human Rights Group in Vancouver. She practices in all aspects of workplace law including employment standards complaints, human rights issues, labour grievances, workplace ...
Lauren Dresselhuis is an associate in the Vancouver office of Lawson Lundell and a member of the firm’s Labour, Employment & Human Rights Group and the Litigation & Dispute Resolution Group. She practices in all aspects of ...
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