B.C. Fair Wages Commission seeks input on closing gap between minimum wage and living wage

Published May 7, 2019

The Fair Wages Commission, which was established in October 2017 to advise the B.C. government on how to raise minimum wages with increases that are regular, measured and predictable, is now seeking input on ways to close the gap between the minimum wage and actual living wages across British Columbia.

Consultation underway

As part of the consultation process, the Commission is requesting written submissions by 4:00 p.m. PT on May 31 from employers, employees, associations and other interested parties in response to the following questions:

  1. From what perspective are you approaching this living wage discussion? Are you commenting as an employer, a worker, an advocate or an expert?
  2. From your perspective as defined in the previous question, what are your views on the living wage?
  3. If you are currently a living wage employer:
    a) What motivated your decision to pay a living wage?
    b) How did your organization implement the living wage?
    c) Are you a certified living wage employer?
    d) What were the consequences for your organization and your workforce of becoming a living wage employer?
  4. If you are currently employed by a living wage employer or have direct experience with earning a living wage, what are your views on the living wage? This could include thoughts on wage levels, or other factors that affect living wages such as hours of work or costs associated with work.
  5. Are there any key employment/workplace benefits that could help address the discrepancy between the minimum wage and the living wage in British Columbia?
  6. Are there any key government transfers or other programs that could be developed or revised that could help address the discrepancy between the minimum wage and the living wage in British Columbia?
  7. Do you have any additional input for the Fair Wages Commission to consider when developing our recommendations about the living wage?

Restaurants Canada has requested to appear before the Commission to discuss the issue and will provide written feedback prior to May 31.

Next steps

The Commission will use this feedback to advise the B.C. government on how to begin to address the discrepancy between the minimum wage and living wages in the province.

This is the third and final task that the Commission was mandated to carry out.

The Commission has already reported back to government on the first two of its tasks:

  1. To develop recommendations for a pathway forward to raise the minimum wage to $15-an-hour and on a process for how the minimum wage should be regularly reviewed and increased once $15-an-hour is achieved.
  2. To consider and make recommendations about other wage rates under the Employment Standards Regulation, for agricultural workers, liquor servers, live-in home support workers, resident caretakers, and live-in camp leaders.

Have your say

Members are welcome to provide input to be included in the written submission from Restaurants Canada by sharing responses to the questions above with Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Western Canada, at mark@restaurantscanada.org.

Or a written submission may be sent directly to the Fair Wages Commission by following their online instructions.

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