Employers should be required to list hourly wages and salaries in B.C.

Being open about pay should, and needs to be, a common practice

Art by @RESLUS

Art by @RESLUS

Knowing how much a job will pay you, or at least the wage range, should be required of employers.  

Ontario passed a law close to this in 2018 that went into effect the following year, requiring public job postings to include salary rate or range information. The law also prohibits employers from asking candidates about their past salary and bans any form of reprisal against workers discussing their pay. 

Earlier this year, British Columbia started talks on implementing legislation for pay transparency. Led by Grace Lore, the province’s former Parliamentary secretary for gender equity, to address systemic workplace discrimination and provide equal pay for equal work through pay transparency. 

According to a provincial government press release, the province will start consultations with “Indigenous organizations, public-and private-sector employer groups, business and union organizations, equity-seeking organizations and groups that work to create equal opportunity for women, as well as employers who have already established pay transparency policies” in the spring. 

B.C. has one of the largest gender pay gaps in Canada, with women making about 20 per cent less than men on average, according to the press release. B.C. is also one of four provinces without either pay transparency or pay equity legislation, alongside Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador. 

One of, if not the only, common thing people know about salaries in Canada is what the minimum wage is for the province or territory they reside in. In B.C., the minimum wage has been $15.65 since June 1. 

The conversation regarding pay needs to change, which is why disclosing pay wages to the public should be more commonplace in Canada. Requiring employers to list pay ranges allows for more transparency on their side so job applicants know what to expect. 

Including wages would remove awkward thoughts job applicants may have relating to how much they’ll be paid during an interview. When I went into an interview and the assistant manager interviewing me made a quick note to me about my hourly wage, I knew I was going to get at least minimum wage at that time, but knowing exactly how much I would make made the interview more comfortable for me to go through. I knew what to expect and what they could, or would, offer me. 

Having wages listed for job postings can also help hold employers accountable in making sure everyone hired in the same position receives the same pay.  

With the increased cost of living, it would also help people to know what employment can provide financial security. 

As a student, knowing how much compensation I’d receive would help out a lot in terms of weighing job offers. Since I pay for rent, tuition, and other essentials, knowing my wage at a potential new job would give insight to my future financial stability and see if I can save up for fun activities like playing video games. 

It’s time for B.C. to require employers to disclose how much the job will pay to those on the job hunt.