Workers earning minimum wage in B.C. will make an extra $1.20 an hour starting this weekend.
As of Saturday, the hourly rate will be $13.85.
The scheduled increase was first announced in February 2018, as the province outlined its plan to gradually reach a goal of $15 an hour.
The first increase was last June, when the wage was raised to $12.65 from $11.35. At the time, it estimated the increase would affect about 94,000 workers. By the end of the timeline, about 400,000 will get a raise.
The schedule is as follows:
- September 2017 - $11.35 (up from $10.85)
- June 2018 - $12.65
- June 2019 - $13.85
- June 2020 - $14.60
- June 2021 - $15.20
The province recognized a need to raise the wage for workers to be able to cover the costs of living in B.C., but opted for a gradual increase to reduce impact on employers, including small business owners.
The timeline was put together by the Fair Wages Commission, an arms-length governmental body formed after the NDP took power from the BC Liberals. The commission published a report last year on the reasoning for staggered raises.
The commission recommends regularly scheduled increases beyond 2021. It doesn't give a specific timeline, but suggests increases of between 15 and 20 cents going forward. The increases and timing would be based on conditions of the labour market at the time.
The scheduled increases do not apply to all minimum wage workers. Separate advice was offered for groups including farm workers paid by piece rates, live-in home support workers, liquor servers and others.
The province tends to do away with the two-tier system by 2021, it said last year. Those groups are expected to make the same $15.20 in two years.
Specific details of the increases those workers will see on June 1 are available on the province's website.
While the increases are welcome news to those earning minimum wage, business owners have expressed concerns about making ends meet.
In Ontario, minimum wage was increased to $14 an hour in 2018, a move that led local businesses to increase prices of their products and to consider cuts to staffing, breaks and benefits.