Minimum Wage in BC: Here’s What You Need To Know

Are you currently living in British Columbia or thinking of moving there, and are wondering what the minimum wage is like? Or, are you thinking of working a higher-paying job and want to know which jobs have the highest minimum wages?

From liquor servers to support workers and everything in between, we’ve got you covered – let’s walk through everything you need to know about the minimum wage in BC.

What is the minimum wage in British Columbia?

As of June 1 2021, the minimum wage in BC is $15.20 per hour.

Minimum Wage History in BC

Over the last 10 years, the minimum wage in BC has been steadily increasing.

The following table shows the 10 most recent minimum wage changes in British Columbia:

Date Hourly Minimum Wage
June 1, 2021 $15.20
June 20, 2020 $14.60
June 1, 2019 $13.85
June 1, 2018 $12.65
September 15, 2017 $11.35
September 15, 2016 $10.85
September 15, 2015 $10.45
May 1, 2012 $10.25
November 1, 2011 $9.50
May 1, 2011 $8.75

Exemptions to the Minimum Wage in BC

There are, however, exceptions to the minimum wage rules.

Certain job positions have different minimum wages and payment structures.

Some of these are:

Liquor Services:

Liquor servers include those who:

  • Primarily work as servers of food or beverages or both
  • Sesrve alcohol on a regular basis to guests, customers, patrons or members
  • Work at an establishment that holds a liquor license

While liquor servers were always paid under minimum wage excluding tips and gratuities in the past, as of June 1st, 2021, they are required to receive the regular minimum wage of $15.20, in addition to any tips and gratuities they get.

Guy reviewing his paystub

Live-in Camp Leaders:

Live-in camp leaders include those who:

  • Are employed by a charity at a seasonal or summer camp for people under the age of 19 years old
  • Provide instruction and counselling to campers, and
  • Provide those services on an all-day, live-in situation without being charged for living and sleeping at the facilities

Live-in camp leaders are paid a daily rate instead of an hourly rate.

Their daily wage rate as of June 1, 2021 is $121.65.

Live-in Home Support Workers:

Live-in home support workers include those who:

  • Work for an agency, corporation or other employer that provides live-in support services (through a government funded program) for anyone with an acute or chronic illness or disability that doesn’t require admission to a hospital, and
  • Provide those services on an all-day, live-in situation without being charged for living and sleeping at the facilities

Live-in home support workers are also paid a daily rate.

As of June 1, 2021, their daily wage is $113.50 per day or part day worked.

Resident Caretakers:

Resident caretakers include those who:

  • Are hired to supervise or care for people in a group home or family type residential dwelling, and
  • Are required by their employer to live on the premises while employed.

    This excludes foster parents, live-in home support workers, and domestic or night attendants

Resident caretakers are paid on a monthly basis.

As of June 1, 2021, the minimum wage for resident caretakers for apartment buildings containing 9 to 60 suites is $912.28 with an extra $35.56 per suite, and $3,107.42 per month if there are over 60 suites.

There are other exceptions to the minimum wage law in BC, such as farm workers who harvest crops and have the option to work on a piece rate.

If you work on a piece rate, you are being paid in terms of quantity of work, which would be agreed upon in advance.

The formula to calculate piece rate work is: Piece rate x weight or volume picked.

Why do Some Jobs Have a Different Minimum Wage?

Liquor servers were traditionally paid under minimum wage because their tips and gratuities were meant to ‘make them whole’ on the minimum wage.

Since live-in workers don’t necessarily clock in and out the way other workers do, it makes more sense for them to be paid on a daily or monthly basis than hourly.

What Causes the Minimum Wage Rate to Change?

Several factors play into a province’s minimum wage rate, including housing costs, transportation costs and overall cost of living.

The rate will change in-line with inflation.

How Often Does the Minimum Wage Increase in BC?

In 2018, BC’s premier made a commitment to increase the minimum wage yearly until it hit $15.20, which it did in 2021.

The value of increases going forward from 2022 onwards will depend on inflation.

If we look at the Minimum Wage History table again, it’s important to keep in mind that while the minimum wage has generally increased yearly, it did not increase in 2013 or 2014, and there were two increases in 2011.

So, while it’s likely that the minimum wage will continue to increase yearly, a yearly increase isn’t guaranteed.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When will the minimum wage increase in BC?
  • What should I do if I’m not being paid a fair wage?
  • If you have not been earning the correct wage based on the BC minimum for your industry, you will be owed the difference from the payment change date for as long as you’ve been working there.

    If you would like to submit a complaint to get this corrected, you can do so here. If you would like to speak to someone about Employment Standards before filing a complaint, you can find their contact information here.


Tara Al-Khudairi is a freelance personal finance writer who has worked in the financial services industry since 2017. She graduated from McMaster University with a degree in Finance and is pursuing her CFA.

She has worked at a major Canadian financial institution in various client-facing advisory roles, starting as a bank teller and working up to a Client Services Associate within the Asset Management division. She specializes in simplifying concepts of personal finance for people of various financial backgrounds.

When she’s not examining the markets looking for the next SHOP.TO, she’s either practicing yoga, planning her next vacation, or has her nose buried deep in a book.