June hike part of series en route to $15.20
VICTORIA — Minimum wage rates in British Columbia rise for most categories of workers as of June 1, said Labour Minister Harry Bains.
The increases are part of a series of rate hikes planned over the next three years, in line with increases to the general minimum wage rate announced earlier this year. The government plans to gradually raise the hourly general minimum wage rate to $15.20 by June 1, 2021.
Bains also said the government would gradually eliminate a separate minimum wage rate for liquor servers over three years.
The rate rises from $10.10 an hour to $11.40 on June 1. It will go up to $12.70 on June 1, 2019 and to $13.95 on June 1, 2020. Beginning June 1, 2021, employers will have to pay liquor servers the general minimum wage rate.
The minimum wage rates for live-in camp leaders and resident caretakers will also rise over the next three years. In addition, the government is eliminating the category of live-in home support workers since it says it covers very few or no workers. Any workers in this category will be entitled to the general minimum wage rate.
The only category of workers who will not see a minimum wage increase on June 1 are farm workers paid by piece rate. Their rates are going up by 11.5 per cent, but the hikes will not kick in until Jan. 1, 2019.
Agriculture Minister Lana Popham said the delay will give the agriculture industry time to adjust to higher rates.
The minimum wage increases stem from recommendations from the province’s Fair Wages Commission, which the government set up last fall to advise it on ways to raise the general minimum wage rate to $15 and make recommendations on what to do with the other minimum wage rates.
The Labour Ministry also announced that the government is considering a recommendation from the commission to review food industry tipping practices, including determining when tips are considered wages, reviewing the practice of using tips to enhance the wages of non-tipped workers, and ensuring that tipping practices are transparent.