(April 27/18) As expected the BC Fair Wages Commission recommended that the BC Government eliminate the liquor server wage as two out of the three-panel members voiced their opposition to any minimum wage differentials. On April 19th the BC Government announced that it is accepting the Fair Wage Commission recommendation to phase out the liquor server wage over four years coinciding with general minimum wage increases announced going to $15.20 by 2021. British Columbia’s liquor server wage will increase $1.30 from $10.10 to $11.40 effective June 1st 2018 followed by another $1.30 increase to $12.70 in 2019. The liquor server wage then increases by $1.25 in 2020 to $13.95 and will be eliminated completely in 2021 moving up another $1.25 to match the general minimum wage of $15.20.  The table below compares the liquor server wage phase out with the previously announced minimum wage increases to 2021.

Comparing GMW increases with LSW phase out
Year Liquor Server Wage General Minimum Wage
2018 $11.40 $12.65
2019 $12.70 $13.85
2020 $13.95 $14.60
2021 $15.20 $15.20

Restaurants Canada is disappointed that the majority of the Fair Wages Commission ignored our arguments to maintain the liquor server wage and introduce a youth wage and that the government agreed to phase out the liquor server wage. However, Restaurants Canada did convince the commission and government of our industry’s need to adjust resulting in a back-end loaded four-year phase out as opposed to the immediate elimination that organized labor groups were recommending. Members may also be interested to know that “Government is also considering the Fair Wages Commission recommendation for a future employment standards review to examine food industry tipping practices, determine when tips are considered wages, review the practices of using tips to enhance the wages of non-tipped workers and ensure that tipping practices are transparent.”

For more information attached is a link to Restaurants Canada’s media release responding to the announcement (Click Here) as well as a link to the government’s release

https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018LBR0011-000674 

Fair Wages Commission report https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/FWC_Second_Report_March_2018_FINAL.pdf.

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