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Hiring Employees in Alberta: A Complete Guide

How to Hire an Employee in British Columbia: A Complete Guide

British Columbia is one of Canada’s largest provinces and home to one of the country’s biggest and fast-growing economic centres, Vancouver. The city attracts intraprovincial and international migrants looking to enjoy its diverse, outdoor-oriented culture, and booming high-skilled job market. Companies looking to expand their operations into Canada choose BC for its low taxes, business-friendly policies, and stable, sustainable economy. That’s why BC has become a key talent market for Canadian and international companies looking to hire remote workers!

BC - Overview

Market Overview

  • Population: Estimated 5.3 million as of July 2022
  • Currency: Canadian dollar (CAD)
  • Conversion rate: 1 USD is equal to 1.33305 CAD
  • Languages: English and French are the two official languages of British Columbia
  • Most Common Languages: English, French, Cantonese, Mandarin, Punjabi, Farsi, Tagalog, German, Korean and Spanish
  • Capital: Victoria
  • Closest Economic Centres: Edmonton, Calgary
  • Industries: Agriculture, Construction, Film & Television, Fisheries & Aquaculture, Forestry, Manufacturing, Mining, Technology, Tourism, Wine
  • Time Zones: Pacific Standard Time (PST)
  • Date Format: yyyy/mm/dd
  • Political System: Constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy
  • Social System: Welfare state including publicly funded healthcare, subsidized post-secondary education, and employment insurance

Everything You Need to Know About British Columbia

British Columbia is Canada’s most westerly province, and its geography is dominated by the Rocky Mountains. While the economy was historically driven by fishing, forestry, and transportation, it has diversified to include manufacturing, finance, professional services, healthcare and more. The Vancouver and Lower Mainland economic centre is home to thriving Aerospace, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality, Digital Media & Entertainment, ICT, and Life Sciences business communities. In addition to its 100s of thousands of local students, BC’s innovation hub draws a constant stream of highly qualified interprovincial and international candidates to the province. That’s just one of the reasons that so many international companies hire remote workers in BC!

What is British Columbia Known for?

  • British Columbia is the third largest Canadian province, and is also the most westerly
  • Perhaps unsurprising for a province in Canada, British Columbia is home to the world’s
  • largest hockey stick. The stick is 62.48 metres long and weighs over 28 tonnes
  • British Columbia contains 7 of Canada’s national parks, including the Pacific Rim national park
  • Nicknamed ‘The Left Coast’
  • British Columbia is home to the world’s largest blue whale skeleton
British Columbia known for

Hiring Employees in British Columbia

Canadian workers are increasingly in demand for international remote work roles, especially the highly skilled BC workforce. However, hiring in Canada, specifically hiring remote workers, can be risky if you don’t understand the local taxation and employment laws, and how Canada views worker misclassification and permanent establishment.

In Canada, employment and payroll rules have a federal and provincial component. While the federal government sets rates for national payroll deductions and taxes, the provincial government determines local payroll deductions, labour laws, and other employment standards. It is imperative to have real local expertise when you hire internationally, either internally in your HR department or through your Employer of Record partner!

Minimum Wage in British Columbia

What is the Minimum Wage in British Columbia?

In Canada, each province has a different minimum and overtime wage. The minimum wage in BC is $15.65 Canadian dollars per hour, and the overtime wage is 1.5 times the worker’s base rate.

What are the Local Labour Laws in British Columbia?

In British Columbia, most of those laws are set out in the BC Employment Standards Act, including minimum and overtime wages, hours of work, vacation time, and more.

  • Workers in BC must be 12 or older; anyone under the age of 18 will need parent or guardian consent to work during restricted hours.
  • Like other Canadian employees, BC workers contribute to the Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance program. Some BC retirees also receive the BC Senior’s Supplement
  • The BC Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination in the workplace and mandates equal pay for men and women
  • An employee is entitled to 2 weeks of vacation pay after 12 months of employment
  • Employees are entitled to up to 18 consecutive weeks of unpaid maternity leave
  • Employees are entitled to 5 consecutive weeks of paternity leave without pay on the birth of their child
  • Paternity leave – entitled to 5 consecutive weeks of leave without pay on the birth of his child
  • Holiday pay is earned over a period of 12 consecutive months from May 1st – April 30th; this is known as the vacation entitlement year
  • Employers can offer “unlimited PTO” so long as the minimum PTO set out in the Employment Standards Act of BC is met
Local Labour Laws

Statutory Holidays in British Columbia

Most employees in BC are entitled to take the following statutory holidays off work and receive public holiday pay:

January 1st (New Year’s Day)
The third Monday in February (Family Day)
Good Friday
The last Monday before May 25th (Victoria Day)
The first Monday in August (British Columbia Day)
The first Monday in September (Labour Day)
The second Monday in October (Thanksgiving)
November 11th (Remembrance Day)
December 25 (Christmas Day)

Employees that work any of these days are entitled to public holiday pay, by their employer, or a substitute holiday day.

How to Pay Remote Workers in British Columbia

International employers looking to hire in BC have two options. They can either open a legal entity in the country, or work with an employer of record. While opening a local subsidiary has its advantages, especially for companies expanding their operations and sales into the Canadian market, working with an employer of record offers advantages when it comes to cost and efficiency.

Work with an employer of record in British Columbia

Work With an Employer of Record in British Columbia

Employers of record hire candidates on your behalf, managing onboarding, compliance and ongoing payroll. This allows international companies to efficiently grow their teams internationally, without opening a local subsidiary, or running afoul of any local laws. Hiring through an employer of record can take as little as 1-2 weeks.

Open a Legal Entity in British Columbia

Opening a legal entity in British Columbia is another option for international employers looking to hire in the province. The process of creating a subsidiary in Canada is straightforward, but it does require some legwork. Potential employers must incorporate, register with government agencies, open local accounts and can then begin the hiring process. Opening a local subsidary can take as little as two weeks, or much longer, depending on what business you are in. It is the best option for companies looking to expand into the Canadian market. However, because opening a subsidiary means that you take on local compliance and tax burdens, employers who just want to hire BC workers should choose the EOR route.

Open a legal entity in British Columbia
International Businesses Pay Remote Workers in British Columbia

How Do International Businesses Pay Remote Workers in British Columbia?

Whether they opt to create a local subsidiary or work through an employer of record, businesses must pay their BC employees in Canadian dollars, at least once a month, and on a regular payroll schedule. They must provide a paystub that outlines hours of work, pay rate, and all payroll deductions. Businesses are responsible for making payroll deductions including for income tax, CPP and EI, and making their own contributions to CPP, EI, BC health tax, and paying worker’s compensation premiums to Worksafe BC.

What are the Tax Rates in British Columbia?

Employees in BC pay income tax to both the federal and provincial government. However, the tax rates and brackets set by each level of government are very different. Canada has a progressive tax system wherein your tax rate “steps up” alongside your income level. For example, if you make $100,000 per year in BC, you will pay 15% federal tax on your first $48,535 dollars earned, 20.5% on the next $48,534 dollars earned, and 26% on the last $2,931 dollars earned. Employers are responsible for correctly deducting and remitting income tax on behalf of their employees, along with their other payroll contributions.

The federal income tax rate for different tax brackets in Canada is as follows:

2023 Taxable incomeFederal Tax rate 2023
$48,535 or less15.00%
$48,535 to $97,06920.50%
$97,069 to $150,47326.00%
$150,473 to $214,36829.00%
More than $214,36833.00%

The BC income tax rates and brackets are as follows:

2023 Taxable incomeBC Tax rate 2023
$0 to $45,6545.06%
$45,654.01 to $91,3107.70%
$91,310.01 to $104,83510.50%
$104,835.01 to $127,29912.29%
$127,299.01 to $172,60214.70%
$172,602.01 to $240,71616.80%
Over $240,71620.50%

Pension Plans in British Columbia

Workers in Canada contribute to the national pension program, Canada Pension Plan. After retiring at age 65 (or later) they may begin receiving CPP benefits, as well as drawing from any other pensions and retirement savings tools they may have. Low-income seniors in BC may also receive the Old Age Security benefit and Senior’s supplement. Employers are responsible for deducting and remitting CPP contributions on behalf of their employees, as well as for making a matching contribution of their own.

In addition to CPP, BC workers have access to a variety of retirement savings tools, including Registered Retirement Savings Plans and Tax-Free Savings Accounts. While some employers in BC offer full pensions, it is more common to offer RRSP matches through a group plan. Group RRSPs are set up by employers in partnership with a financial institution, who manages the plan, offering a variety of high and low risk investment options to employees. Employers are only responsible for making RRSP deductions and remitting them to the plan. In contrast, private pension plans require far more hands-on management from employers.

Employers of Record like Canadian Payroll Services can help you manage CPP, retirement savings, and every other payroll and compliance matter.

Pension Plans British Columbia
Hire employees in BC

Hire employees in British Columbia with a Canadian PEO

The BC talent market is diverse, highly educated, and ready to work remotely! While there can be challenges for international employers hiring in BC, employers of record like Canadian Payroll Services can ensure the process is easy, efficient, and compliant at every step of the employee life cycle. Canadian Payroll Services will hire your candidates on your behalf, managing payroll and compliance for you. We also provide a range of employee retention tools like health insurance and benefits, employee perks, retirement savings plans, and ongoing HR support.

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

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