Home Workplace Legislation/Press Releases B.C. boosts pay rate for hand-harvesting agricultural crops by 6.9 per cent

B.C. boosts pay rate for hand-harvesting agricultural crops by 6.9 per cent

by HR Law Canada

As of Jan. 1, 2024, British Columbia has implemented a 6.9% increase in the minimum piece rates for hand-harvested agricultural crops.

This change, now in effect, applies to 15 specific crops, aligning with the province’s average annual inflation rate for 2022. It also follows the pattern set by the increase in the minimum hourly wage, which rose by 6.9% on June 1, 2023.

The updated rates affect a diverse range of fruits and vegetables, including peaches, apricots, Brussels sprouts, daffodils, mushrooms, apples, beans, blueberries, cherries, grapes, pears, peas, prune plums, raspberries, and strawberries. Each crop is subject to its own minimum pay rate.

This adjustment directly impacts piece-rate farm workers, who are compensated based on the quantity of crops harvested rather than receiving an hourly wage. This piece-rate system, a long-standing feature of the agricultural sector in British Columbia, has been operational since 1981.

Prior to this recent increase, the system had seen adjustments such as an 11.5% increase in January 2019 and a 2.8% rise in January 2023. These consistent updates aim to ensure equitable compensation for farm workers, reflecting the current economic conditions in the province.

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