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BC’s climb to a $15 minimum wage: What’s next?

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The BC government announced it will increase the minimum wage to $15.20 by June 1, 2021. With no mitigating measures in place, how will small businesses adapt?


For a BC business with 10 full-time employees, increasing the minimum wage to $15.20 will cost the business owner $80,080 extra annually.

Even more shocking: this number does not include additional payroll taxes, such as Pension Plans, Employment Insurance, and Workers Compensation. And let it be noted this is just the additional cost from increasing the current minimum wage (as of September 2017) $11.35 to $15.20/hr.

The BC government announced on February 8, 2018, that the province will reach a minimum hourly wage of $15.20 an hour by June 1, 2021. The increases are as follows:

  • June 1, 2018: $12.65 an hour ($1.30 increase)
  • June 1, 2019: $13.85 ($1.20 increase)
  • June 1, 2020: $14.60 ($0.75 increase)
  • June 1, 2021: $15.20 ($0.60 increase)

We need your help!

Let your voice be heard! Please tell us how these changes - particularly the increase of $1.30/hr on June 1, 2018 – will impact your business. Hearing about any changes you have done or plan to make will help us inform provincial politicians on how this actually impacts the small business community. You can reach out by emailing us at [email protected].

On November 23, 2017 our legislative team presented your priorities on minimum wage to the Fair Wages Commission; a government appointed commission tasked with determining how soon BC should adapt a $15 minimum wage. We also made a formal submission outlining the consequences sudden minimum wage hikes have on small businesses, as well as mitigating options.

Some of our recommendations included:

  • Set a longer phase-in for small businesses to adapt
  • Refund the WorkSafeBC over-funded position
  • Eliminate PST paid on machinery and equipment
  • Legislate minimum wage with fixed increased tied to inflation to keep out political interference

While the province has clearly set its timeline working up to a $15.20/hr minimum wage, there is much work to be done. We will continue to and advocate that the province view all new policy through a small business lens, and that mitigating measures be put in place!