Payroll and Benefits Guide - Canada – British Columbia

Canada – British Columbia


Canadian Dollar (CAD)


Victoria (State Capital)


Employer Taxes


Date Format


Fiscal Year

1 April – 31 March

Fun Facts

British Columbia (BC) is known for its stunning natural landscapes, including mountains, forests, and coastlines.

British Columbia is famous for its Pacific coastline, which stretches over 27,000 kilometers and is home to diverse marine life.

Vancouver, located in British Columbia, is consistently ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world.

British Columbia is home to the longest ski season in North America.

British Columbia has a rich wine-producing region.

British Columbia has a significant indigenous population.



Employee Payroll Tax

Canada Pension Plan5.70%
Employment Insurance1.58%

Employer Payroll Tax

National Pension5.70%
Employment Insurance2.21%
Workers Compensation contribution1.55%


Payroll Cycle

The first payment due to an employee must be made within one month. After that, pay must be paid on a regular basis every maximum of 16 days, or every month for managerial staff. The salaries must be paid on the working day before pay day if it falls on a legal holiday.

13th Salary

The law makes no mention of thirteenth salary.

Work Hours and Week

An eight-hour workday, five days a week, full-time workweek is 40 hours long.


Any time an employee works more than 44 hours per week, the employer is required to give them overtime pay at a rate of at least 150.00% of their usual hourly wage or one hour of paid time off.

When an employee is summoned to work under unusual circumstances (during downtime or non-working hours), overtime compensation should be provided for at least 3 hours at minimum wage, even if the employee works fewer than 3 hours. (Labor Code Section 16, Labor Regulation Section 13.3, and Bill 17 and Employment Standard Regulation). The remuneration is increased to 200.00% of the ordinary rate of pay after the 12th hour of overtime work.

For specific job classifications, such as numerous management and supervisory positions, overtime exempt status is in place.



Paid Time Off

After the first year of employment and after five years of employment, employees in British Columbia are entitled to two consecutive weeks of vacation leave; however, it is typical to provide leave from day one.

For the first five years of employment and for the next five years after that, employees are entitled to vacation pay at the rate of 4% of the regular wage rate of pay. The money must be sent to the employee no later than seven days before the vacation starts.

Public Holidays

British Columbia has ten public holidays. It is normal to grant off the day before or the day after a public holiday when it falls on a weekend.

Sick Days

There is a thirty day qualifying period for covered employees, so on December 31, employees who have been continuously employed for at least 30 days will be able to access their first three days of paid sick leave. The Canada Labour Code was updated with effect from December 1, 2022, to provide ten days of paid sick leave to employees in the federally regulated private sector (which is limited to specific industries).

Employees will start accruing a fourth day on February 1, 2023, and they will keep doing so at a rate of one day each month, up to a total of 10 days per year.

Canada’s Employment Insurance sickness benefits were increased from 15 to 26 weeks starting on December 18, 2022. As a result, eligible persons who file a new claim on or after December 18, 2022, will be entitled to up to 26 weeks of Employment Insurance illness benefits, paid at a rate equal to 55% of their average weekly insurance earnings, with a weekly maximum of $650 in 2023.

Maternity Leave

If an employee has worked for the company for at least a year prior to the due date, they are eligible to up to 17 weeks of leave. Maternity leave must start no earlier than the 17th week before the anticipated due date and must terminate no later than 18 weeks later. The worker is entitled to at least two more weeks of maternity leave if the delivery happens after the anticipated date.

When there is a chance that the pregnancy will end prematurely or when the pregnancy poses a risk to the mother’s or the unborn child’s health, special maternity leave may start four weeks before the due date. A medical certificate and two weeks’ notice are necessary.

Maternity and parenting benefits are provided by employment insurance to:

  • Those who are absent from work due to being pregnant or having just given birth
  • The parents of a newborn or recently adopted kid who are absent from work
  • For 15 weeks, employees are entitled to 55% of their earnings, up to a weekly maximum of CAD 650.

Only those who are absent from work due to being pregnant or having just given birth are eligible for maternity benefits. They are not transferable between parents.

Parental benefits may also be available to the person receiving maternity benefits.

Parental benefits may come after maternity benefits. Both applications can be made at once.

Paternity Leave

Parental leave includes paternity leave.

Parental Leave

For the purpose of caring for a newborn or adopted child, parents are entitled to up to 63 weeks of leave. Before the week of the baby’s birth or after the child is formally adopted, the parental leave cannot start.

No later than 78 weeks after the birth or adoption, the leave should start.

Maternity and parenting benefits are provided by employment insurance to:

  • Those who are absent from work due to being pregnant or having just given birth
  • The parents of a newborn or recently adopted kid who are absent from work


Termination Process

An employment contract may be terminated by an employer in one of two ways:

  • Giving the employee written notice
  • Termination for a good reason

It’s crucial to remember that the employee must receive their final payment:

  • 48 hours following the day on which the employer terminates the employment agreement
  • 6 days after the employee’s last day of employment before the employment agreement is terminated

Notice Period

In British Columbia, Canada, notice periods are typically not needed, however one month’s notice is customary.

Severance Pay

Severance pay is required and regulated by common law in British Columbia, and the amount is based on the employee’s length of service.

  • 1 week requires at least 3 months of employment.
  • 2 weeks of payment every 3 months up to a year.
  • Up to a maximum of eight years of service, one year plus is equal to three weeks of payment for each year of service.

Probation Period

Probation Period

For permanent employees, the probationary period in British Columbia typically lasts at least three months.


The Temporary Foreign Worker Program is run by the Canadian government and enables foreign nationals to apply to work in Canada for a specific amount of time. The program is offered when a qualified Canadian citizen or permanent resident is not available or not the right fit for the role, and it covers all employment roles and expertise levels.

In British Columbia, there are both federal (run by the Government of Canada) and provincial (by the Government of British Columbia) immigration programs.


GST is assessed at 5% in Canada. PST in British Columbia is 7%, making the total GST plus PST rate 12.00%.