British Columbia: Bill 13, Pay Transparency Act Receives Royal Assent

On May 11, 2023, British Columbia, Canada’s Bill 13, Pay Transparency Act (Act), received Royal Assent.  Section 2 of the Act, which addresses the employer’s obligations regarding publicly advertised job opportunities, comes into force on November 1, 2023; the balance of the Act came into force on May 11, 2023, the date of Royal Assent.

The Act includes the following features:

Publicly Advertised Job Opportunities

Commencing on November 1, 2023, employers will be required to specify in all publicly advertised job opportunities, either the job’s expected salary or wage, or its expected salary or wage range, and any other prescribed information.

Pay History

The Act prohibits employers from seeking pay history information from job applicants unless the pay history information is publicly accessible.

Non-retaliation Provisions

The Act prohibits employers from dismissing, suspending, demoting, disciplining, harassing or otherwise disadvantaging an employee, or threatening to do so, because the employee:

  • made an inquiry to the employer about their pay, or about a pay transparency report or information contained in such a report;
  • disclosed information about their pay to another employee or an individual who applied for a job with the employer;
  • asked the employer to comply with its obligations under the Act; or
  • made a report to the Director of Pay Transparency in relation to the employer's compliance with its obligations under this Act.

Pay Transparency Reports

“Reporting employers” are required, on or before November 1 of each year, to prepare a pay transparency report, and publish it on a publicly accessible website as soon as practicable after the report’s completion.  If the employer does not have a publicly accessible website, it must make a copy of the report available to its employees in at least one conspicuous place in each of its workplaces and make a copy available to any member of the public who requests one.

Who is a “Reporting Employer”?

The Act establishes that certain employers will be “reporting employers” effective November 1, 2023.  Other employers will be “reporting employers” on November 1 of subsequent years; the specific subsequent year will depend on the minimum number of employees they have on January 1 of that year:

  • November 1, 2023: the government of British Columbia; British Columbia Housing Management Commission; British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority; British Columbia Lottery Corporation; British Columbia Transit; Insurance Corporation of British Columbia; Workers' Compensation Board.
  • November 1, 2024: an employer that has 1,000 or more employees on January 1, 2024.
  • November 1, 2025: an employer that has 300 or more employees on January 1, 2025.
  • November 1, 2026: an employer that has 50 or more employees on January 1, 2026.
  • November 1 of a year after 2026: an employer that has more than the lesser of 49 or any prescribed number of employees on January 1 of that year.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.