Your Guide and Tips to Hiring in British Columbia

Beautiful classic building in British Columbia


How to Hire in British Columbia (BC), Canada

Step By Step Guide


Identify Candidate

The first step to hiring in BC is to identify a candidate. When starting a search, it’s a good idea to use a variety of methods including job posts and ads and working with a recruiter. Keep in mind that BC pay transparency rules require you to include a salary band in your job posts. The province also has strict regulations on employment and recruitment agencies. To stay compliant, you should only use a provincially licensed agency.


Choose Subsidiary or Employer of Record

The next step is to identify whether opening a local subsidiary or hiring through an Employer of Record is the best option for your company. Employers of Record (EORs) allow you to hire in BC without a local subsidiary and provide a variety of other benefits we describe below.


Make an Offer

Next, you need to prepare an offer for a candidate. If you choose to hire through an EOR they can assist you with drafting an offer that complies with local laws and meets your candidate’s expectations. Canadian candidates expect a supplementary health insurance and retirement match to be part of their offer.


Draft an Employment Contract

Employment law varies from country to country and within Canada, province to province. To mitigate risk, your employment contract should be drafted by an employment lawyer practicing in BC, or by an EOR.


Onboarding and Payroll Setup

After signing, onboard your candidate for payroll setup. In BC, employees pay taxes, contribute to CPP and EI, and may cover health insurance. Employers must run two monthly payrolls with detailed statements, contribute to CPP/EI, and secure worker’s compensation insurance. EORs handle onboarding, payroll, worker’s comp, and ongoing support for BC employers.

EOR vs Subsidiary

Open a Subsidiary

One option to hire in BC is to open a local subsidiary or branch. This requires incorporating a business in the province, opening a Canadian bank account, and setting up a local payroll and accounting office. Creating a local subsidiary is an expensive, long-term commitment that is best suited to businesses looking to sell or operate in BC.

Hire Through an Employer of Record

Another option to hire in BC is to do so through an Employer of Record (EOR). EORs hire employees on behalf of companies that do not have a local presence. They also take on the administrative aspects of employment such as payroll and benefits administration and provide compliance advice.

Which is better?

Cost to Hire in BC

BC Employer Taxes

Employment Insurance (EI): 5.95% up to a maximum of $3,867.50
Canada Pension Plan (CPP): 1.66% up to a maximum of $1,468.77
Health Tax: 2.925% for employers with a payroll of $500,000 or more; 1.95% for employers with a payroll of $1,500,000 or more

BC Payroll Rules

Minimum Wage:$16.75 CAD
Hours of Work:40 hours per week, or 8 hours of work per day before overtime is owed
Overtime Rate:1.5 times base wage

Vacation Entitlement

Termination Notice and Pay

Length of employmentAmount required
3 months or lessNo notice and/or pay – Probationary Period
More than 3 months1 week of notice and/or pay
More than 1 year2 weeks of notice and/or pay
More than 3 years3 weeks of notice and/or pay, plus 1 week of notice/pay after each additional year of employment (to a maximum of 8 weeks)

BC Employment Law Overview

Canada has a federal system where legislative and executive power is shared between the central government and the provinces and territories. Employment law is the purview of provinces and territories, and of the federal government when it comes to its own and employees and those in federally regulated industries.
The British Columbia Employment Standards Act (ESA) establishes the minimum standards for employment conditions within the province. These standards cover a range of crucial aspects, including minimum wages, leaves of absence, vacation time and pay, hours of work, rest periods, and termination notice and pay. As an essential piece of legislation, the ESA ensures that employees are treated fairly, promotes open communication, and supports work-life balance.

Who It Applies to:

All employees except those in a few licensed professions, IT, and managers (partial exclusion).

Hire Your First Employee in Canada With Canadian Payroll Services

As an employer of record, Canadian Payroll Services can help you hire quickly and compliantly in Canada, without having to open a local entity. We handle payroll, onboarding, and local compliance so that you never have to worry about it.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hiring British Columbia Workers

To hire an employee in BC you must first have a presence in Canada, either by opening a local subsidiary or engaging an Employer of Record to hire on your behalf. Next, extend an offer of employment. If you opt to use an offer letter or letter of intent, these should undergo a compliance check with your legal department or EOR. Once the offer is accepted, have your candidate sign a compliant employment contract that spells out hours of work, vacation entitlement, wages, job duties and basic policies. Next you must onboard your new hire, provide a handbook, and get them set up for payroll.EORs like Canadian Payroll Services provide locally compliant contracts and a full onboarding experience.

Working with a PEO or EOR to hire in British Columbia makes your life easier. PEOs and EORs provide payroll and HR outsourcing services that allow you to focus on managing your team and achieving business goals, instead of administrative details. Outsourcing these functions saves your business money, improves your local compliance, and allows you to increase business productivity.

Alberta is home to some of Canada’s most qualified workers, many of whom are already experienced in remote working, and the province has one of the lowest employer tax rates in the country. Alberta is in the Mountain Standard Time Zone, making it a great place to hire off hours customer service teams and highly skilled remote office workers alike.

Guide: British Columbia