Living Wage

Living Wage Employer logoThe City of North Vancouver became a “Living Wage Employer”, effective July 23, 2021. The City’s Living Wage Policy will ensure that all City employees and service providers to the City who work on City premises for a specific time period of time earn, at minimum, a living wage.

 

What's a Living Wage?

The living wage is what two working adults need to make per hour, working fulltime, to meet the basic needs of a family of four, including food, rent, and other bills. A living wage calls on employers to meet a higher standard than the legislated minimum wage for both employees and major contractors, to ensure that wages reflect the true costs of living in a community.

The Living Wage for Families Campaign (LFWC) calculates the annual living wage based on the regional cost of living. The current living wage rate for Metro Vancouver is $19.50 per hour, assuming the employer provides no benefits. Using the Living Wage Calculator, employers can calculate a living wage when an employee’s hourly rate with benefits is taken into account.

Earning a living wage allows families to meet their basic needs and contribute to their communities.

Processes for Providers

Effective August 31, 2021, the City will require all service providers and sub-contractors whose services fall within this policy to be compliant for the duration of their contract with the City. Any existing contracts that are in place at the time of inception of this policy will not require immediate compliance should the hourly wage rates be lower than the current living wage. However, a contract will require compliance at the time of renewal.

The City will incorporate into its competitive bid documents language requiring compliance with this policy. Compliance with the policy will also be included in contract documents. The City will enforce this policy by performing audits of its service providers and sub-contractors when notification of non-compliance is received by the City. These audits may take the form of a review of paystubs issued by the vendor or any other means pertinent to arriving at a determination.  

 

Frequently Asked Questions

To streamline processes, we've provided questions and answers below. If you have further questions, please email purchasing@cnv.org.

There are different wage standards to be paid by an employer, as follows.

Minimum Wage

The Government of BC standard requirement which applies to all employees regardless of how they're paid (i.e. hourly, salary, commission or on an incentive basis). Learn more on the BC Minimum Wage page.

Fair Wage

A trade-specific requirement which applies mostly to construction contracts. Each trade is to be paid as per the published schedule that is based on the collective agreements of building trade unions in the Province of British Columbia as published by the Construction Labour Relations Association of British Columbia (CLRA of BC). Learn more at the BC Fair Wage Act.

Living Wage

A voluntary standard which takes into consideration the costs of living in a specific community. It's the hourly wage required by two adults working fulltime to cover basic expenses for themselves and two children. Learn more on the Living Wage website.

The City has established the following criteria to determine a service provider or sub-contractor’s eligibility under the Living Wage Policy:

  • An employee of a service provider or of its sub-contractor must perform service physically on City premises.
  • Work must last longer than one continuous hour per occasion for all service contracts that have a total estimated annual value of over $250,000.

Excluded from the policy are: 

  • students seeking work experience credits for educational purposes
  • volunteers
  • social enterprises that are not for profit
  • employees of organizations who lease space/property from the City
The City will enforce the Policy by performing audits of its service providers and sub-contractors when notification of non-compliance is received by the City.  These audits may take the form of a review of paystubs issued by the vendor under review or any other means pertinent to arriving at a determination.

Any existing contracts that are in place at the time of inception of this policy will not require immediate compliance should the hourly wage rates be lower than the current living wage rate. 

However, a contract will require compliance at the time of renewal.

Notifications of possible non-compliance can be sent to the Manager, Purchasing by letter or email (purchasing@cnv.org).  Notifications should include the following details:

  • Name of service provider or sub-contractor.
  • Date, time and location where the service provider or sub-contractor was working.
  • Type of work that the service provider or sub-contractor’s employee was performing.
  • Name and contact information of person providing the notification.

All notifications to the Manager, Purchasing will be held in confidence. Anonymous notifications will not be accepted. 

Upon receiving the notification, the Manager, Purchasing will perform an audit of the service provider or sub-contractor. These audits may take the form of a review of paystubs issued by the vendor under review or any other means pertinent to arriving at a determination.

The service provider and/or sub-contractor will be required to compensate for any shortfall in pay to the affected employees at no extra cost to the City. 

Non-compliance may result in the cancellation of the contract at the discretion of the City and refusal to accept bids, quotations or proposals from that contractor for a period of two years. The Manager, Purchasing or designate shall make available to the public a list of all contractors and sub-contractors who have been determined to be non-compliant with the Living Wage policy.

What's the difference between Minimum Wage, Fair Wage, and Living Wage?

There are different wage standards to be paid by an employer, as follows.

Minimum Wage

The Government of BC standard requirement which applies to all employees regardless of how they're paid (i.e. hourly, salary, commission or on an incentive basis). Learn more on the BC Minimum Wage page.

Fair Wage

A trade-specific requirement which applies mostly to construction contracts. Each trade is to be paid as per the published schedule that is based on the collective agreements of building trade unions in the Province of British Columbia as published by the Construction Labour Relations Association of British Columbia (CLRA of BC). Learn more at the BC Fair Wage Act.

Living Wage

A voluntary standard which takes into consideration the costs of living in a specific community. It's the hourly wage required by two adults working fulltime to cover basic expenses for themselves and two children. Learn more on the Living Wage website.

Who is included and excluded under the Living Wage Policy?

The City has established the following criteria to determine a service provider or sub-contractor’s eligibility under the Living Wage Policy:

  • An employee of a service provider or of its sub-contractor must perform service physically on City premises.
  • Work must last longer than one continuous hour per occasion for all service contracts that have a total estimated annual value of over $250,000.

Excluded from the policy are: 

  • students seeking work experience credits for educational purposes
  • volunteers
  • social enterprises that are not for profit
  • employees of organizations who lease space/property from the City

How is the Living Wage Policy enforced?

The City will enforce the Policy by performing audits of its service providers and sub-contractors when notification of non-compliance is received by the City.  These audits may take the form of a review of paystubs issued by the vendor under review or any other means pertinent to arriving at a determination.

What happens to existing contracts?

Any existing contracts that are in place at the time of inception of this policy will not require immediate compliance should the hourly wage rates be lower than the current living wage rate. 

However, a contract will require compliance at the time of renewal.

How do I notify the City of possible non-compliance?

Notifications of possible non-compliance can be sent to the Manager, Purchasing by letter or email (purchasing@cnv.org).  Notifications should include the following details:

  • Name of service provider or sub-contractor.
  • Date, time and location where the service provider or sub-contractor was working.
  • Type of work that the service provider or sub-contractor’s employee was performing.
  • Name and contact information of person providing the notification.

All notifications to the Manager, Purchasing will be held in confidence. Anonymous notifications will not be accepted. 

Upon receiving the notification, the Manager, Purchasing will perform an audit of the service provider or sub-contractor. These audits may take the form of a review of paystubs issued by the vendor under review or any other means pertinent to arriving at a determination.

What happens if a service provider or sub-contractor is found to be non-compliant?

The service provider and/or sub-contractor will be required to compensate for any shortfall in pay to the affected employees at no extra cost to the City. 

Non-compliance may result in the cancellation of the contract at the discretion of the City and refusal to accept bids, quotations or proposals from that contractor for a period of two years. The Manager, Purchasing or designate shall make available to the public a list of all contractors and sub-contractors who have been determined to be non-compliant with the Living Wage policy.

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