Published: Sun, June 03, 2018
Business | By Eloise Houston

Minimum wage in BC hikes to $12.65 tomorrow

Minimum wage in BC hikes to $12.65 tomorrow

Employer groups have warned a 3.5 per cent increase in the minimum wage - nearly double what they were seeking - will stifle jobs and innovation and could send some businesses to the wall.

General minimum wage increases 11.5% to $12.65 per hour, an increase of $1.30 per hour.

Fair Work Commission: The increase we've decided on won't lead to inflationary pressure. Results showed that 49 per cent of local businesses believed there would be no real impact and 29 per cent thought the increases would have a negative impact.

"Service-based small businesses such as cafés, restaurants and caterers simply aren't in a position to absorb the increased operating costs associated with another minimum wage increase, and this will subsequently force owners to cut back on existing staff hours and hire fewer new employees".

She says problems may arise due to increases associated with wage hikes and references the recent increase for medical services plan, MSP. "That's typically how minimum increases are accounted for and we'd like to see it go to that model".

It advised the government on an approach to raising provincial minimum wages with increases that are regular, measured and predictable. The schedule and increase rates are based on the findings and recommendations of BC's Fair Wages Commission. In its annual decision handed down in Melbourne, the commission ruled such an increase would boost living standards for Australia's lowest paid workers, while having a low risk of adverse effects on employment or the wider economy.

"The panel's decision will also affect employees paid close to the national minimum wage rate and modern award rates and whose pay is set by a collective agreement which is linked to the outcome of the review", the commission said in its decision.

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