Effective June 1, 2018, the general minimum wage in British Columbia is $12.65 per hour (Part 4 of the ES Regulation). The government of British Columbia has also announced the following increases to the general minimum wage rate:
- June 1, 2019 – $13.85 per hour;
- June 1, 2020 – $14.60 per hour;
- June 1, 2021 – $15.20 per hour.
Exceptions apply to certain types of workers. For example, until June 1, 2021, liquor servers are entitled to a minimum wage which is less than the general minimum wage rate. This must be paid in addition to any tips or gratuities the employee may receive, since the latter do not constitute wages. Part 4 of the ES Regulation also contains other exceptions to the minimum wage rate, including live-in home support workers, resident caretakers, and farm workers (s. 16–18 of the ES Regulation).
The BC government has stated a commitment to annual increases in the minimum wage, linked to the BC Consumer Price Index. For a summary of B.C. minimum wage rates, the B.C. Employment Standards Branch has published a minimum wage fact sheet.
Section 16 of the ESA deals with wage reductions/ “claw-backs”. This may apply for example if an employer had previously given an employee an advance on future wages/commissions. When the advances are later re-claimed by the employer, it must ensure that the amount clawed back does not leave the employee receiving less than minimum wage for the hours worked.
Federally regulated employees are entitled to be paid the minimum wage that applies in the province in which they work (Canada Labour Code, s. 178).
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