Make Work Pay

Most people living in poverty are working, and the majority of poor children in BC live in families with parents who work in the paid labour force. The increased minimum wage of $11.25 an hour is still not enough to allow workers to escape poverty. A single person working full-time, full-year at $11.25 would still be below the poverty line in Vancouver and other large cities in the province, and a person with a child would be far below. Earnings must be high enough to enable people to make ends meet.

Priority Actions:

  • Increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour for all workers and index it to the cost of living.
  • Restore the coverage and enforcement of employment standards.
  • Become a living wage employer of provincial government staff and contractors; and encourage other employers to adopt the living wage for families.

A “living wage” is one of the most powerful tools to address poverty. It is not the same as the minimum wage, which is the legal statutory minimum all employers must pay. It reflects what a family needs to bring home, based on the actual costs of living and raising children in a specific community. A living wage allows families to escape poverty and severe financial stress, participate fully in their communities, and ensure healthy child development.

For more information, please read the following resources: