Home Workplace Legislation/Press Releases Minimum wage in B.C. rising 3.9% to $17.40 an hour on June 1, 2024

Minimum wage in B.C. rising 3.9% to $17.40 an hour on June 1, 2024

by HR Law Canada

British Columbia’s minimum wage is set to rise from $16.75 to $17.40 per hour starting June 1, 2024, marking a 3.9% increase, which aligns with the province’s average inflation rate for 2023. This adjustment will also apply to the alternate minimum rates for positions such as residential caretakers, live-in home-support workers, and camp leaders.

Additionally, on December 31, 2024, the minimum piece rates for 15 hand-harvested crops will see the same percentage increase. This change follows British Columbia’s progression from one of the lowest minimum wages in Canada to the highest among the provinces.

Labour Minister Harry Bains highlighted the province’s commitment to indexing minimum-wage increases to inflation, ensuring that the earnings of BC’s lowest-paid workers keep pace with the cost of living. This approach aims to provide both workers and employers with greater financial stability and predictability.

Bill 2 introduces amendments ensuring that future minimum wage adjustments will automatically correspond with the previous year’s average inflation rate in BC. These systematic annual increases are designed to offer consistency for minimum-wage earners.

The schedule for these increases will see most wage rates rise on June 1 each year, with the exception of agricultural piece rates, which will adjust on December 31 annually. This timing aims to prevent disruption during the crucial harvesting season for crop producers.

Carmen Velasco, a fast-food worker from Richmond, expressed support for the government’s initiative, highlighting the importance of regular wage adjustments in keeping pace with living costs.

This policy change is part of the government’s broader efforts to reduce poverty, enhance affordability, and foster a robust, equitable economy within the province. In 2023, BC had already increased the minimum wage by 6.9% in response to the previous year’s rise in living costs, following a trend seen in at least eight other Canadian jurisdictions where minimum wage adjustments are tied to the annual inflation rate measured by the Consumer Price Index.

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