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Minimum wage set to increase; new training and hiring incentives available

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On May 4, 2016 the BC government announced plans to increase the minimum wage. The increase will be made in two stages; an increase of 40 cents to $10.85 effective September 15, 2016 and an increase of 30 cents plus inflation (estimated to be 10 cents) effective September 15, 2017. By September 15, 2017 it is predicted the minimum wage will be $11.25, third highest in the nation.

The liquor server minimum wage will increase by the same amounts and on the same dates and the differential of $1.25 between the general and liquor rates will be maintained. Daily and monthly wages for live-in support workers, live-in camp leaders, resident caretakers and the farm piece rates will also increase proportionately and at the same time.

Although the government abandoned their own commitment from just one year ago to adjust the minimum wage on an annual basis according to inflation, they have at least offered some training and hiring incentives to ease the pain on small businesses in BC.

New training and hiring incentives available:

  • Recommitment to lower the small business tax rate from 2.5% to 1.5% by 2017-18
  • $2.38-million investment through the Canada-BC Job Grant.

A new $2-million unemployed stream added to the Canada Job Grant that will cover 100% of training costs up to $15,000 per person for an employer who hires an unemployed individual;

$300,000 will be added to the existing $1-million Underrepresented Groups stream of the Canada Job Grant to support employers training and hiring youth;

$80,000 partnership with Small Business BC as the delivery partner to help small businesses assess their training needs, identify training options and apply for the grant Adding travel costs of participants or trainers as eligible expenses.

This program currently provides work placement, on-the-job skills training, including short-term certificate training as required, and a wage subsidy for youth aged 15 to 29 years. These new funds will be earmarked for youth being trained and hired employees in the retail, hospitality, agriculture and aquaculture sectors, specifically in the lower mainland. If you are an employer in the lower mainland in these sectores, you are encoruaged to apply today for funding!

 

*thumbnail image courtesy of The Province of British Columbia.