Minimum wage workers in BC will earn slightly more per hour starting tomorrow as part of a pre-planned minimum wage increase.
Minimum wage in BC is set to increase from $15.20 per hour to $15.65 per hour on June 1, according to the government’s website. It’s part of incremental increases planned over several years to get BC’s minimum wage above $15 per hour.
“Minimum wage applies regardless of how employees are paid – hourly, salary, commission or on an incentive basis,” the government site says. “If an employee’s wage is below minimum wage for the hours they worked, the employer must top up their payment so that it’s equal to minimum wage.”
Workers in federally-regulated sectors already saw a minimum wage increase to $15.55 per hour in April, but how minimum wage in BC will increase to $15.65 for everyone.
According to the Retail Council of Canada, BC’s minimum wage is higher than all other provinces. Only minimum wage workers in the territories earn more per hour.
But minimum wage is still far from a living wage — at least in Metro Vancouver. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives pegged the region’s living wage at $20.52 for 2021.
The living wage is calculated as the hourly amount each of two working parents with two young children must earn to meet basic expenses — two earners making a living wage are needed to make a family comfortably function, the CCPA explains.
“The reality is that a number of families across BC earn less than a living wage and struggle to make ends meet with the rising cost of living, especially the cost of housing,” Living Wage for Families BC organizer Anastasia French said in a 2021 statement.