What You Need To Know
Every worker in British Columbia deserves to make a fair wage for their work. That’s why the Province of British Columbia established a Fair Wages Commission, to recommend a fair, predictable path to a $15 an-hour general minimum wage, ensure a fair wage for alternate minimum wage earners, and examine the discrepancy between minimum wage and living wage, to ensure working people in British Columbia can get ahead, instead of falling behind.
GENERAL MINIMUM WAGE
The commission, which includes representatives from labour and from business, consulted widely with people across British Columbia about the path to a $15 an-hour general minimum wage, and recommended a series of four minimum wage increases which will take B.C.’s lowest workers to $15 an hour by 2021.
When does this take effect?
The first increase will be in June 2018 and will raise the wage by $1.30 – to $12.65 an hour, followed by increases in June of each of the next 3 years: in 2019 it will increase to $13.85; in 2020 it will go to $14.60, and in June of 2021, the minimum wage will rise to $15.20 an hour – or perhaps slightly more, depending on inflation and the economic situation at that time.
Who will benefit from this?
- An increase to $15 an hour will impact close to 400,000 British Columbians.
- Just over 20 per cent of all workers in BC earn less than $15 an hour
- Women account for 62 per cent of those earning minimum wage
- Fifty two per cent of people earning less than $15 an hour are 25 years or older
- A large majority of low wage earners (less than $15) are not students; 61 percent are in a coupled family
ALTERNATE MINIMUM WAGES
The Fair Wages Commission also consulted British Columbians on if and how wages for five alternate minimum wage groups should be increased. These groups include: liquor servers, piece rate farm workers, resident caretakers, live-in camp leaders and live-in home support workers.
Based on recommendations from the commission, minimum wages for these five groups will change as follows:
- Liquor servers – incremental increases on June 1 each year, beginning this June, until the general minimum wage is reached of at least $15.20 in 2021.
- Piece rate farm workers – 11.5% increase to all piece rates on January 1, 2019, with further study to take place.
- Resident caretakers – 11.5% increase this June, followed by increases of 9.5%, 5.4% and 4.1% in 2019, 2020 and 2021 respectively (wages vary depending on building size).
- Live-in camp leaders – same per cent increases as resident caretakers, until they reach $121.65/day in 2021.
- Live-in home support workers – abolishment of the alternate minimum wage for this group, as it covers very few or no workers. The general minimum wage will apply to any workers remaining in this category.