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Living Wage

The Vancouver School Board is a certified Living Wage Employer.

The Vancouver School Board administrative procedures ensure that all District employees and service providers earn the living wage hourly rate as established by the Living Wage for Families BC. 

What is a Living Wage?
The Living Wage is calculated based on what two working adults need to earn per hour, working full time, to meet the basic needs of a family of four, including buying food, paying rent, and other bills. The Living Wage for Families BC calculates the annual Living Wage based on the regional cost of living. 

Process for Providers
Effective July 1st, 2022, all service providers and sub-contractors whose service falls within the Administrative Procedure to be compliant for the duration of their contract with the Vancouver School Board. Any existing contracts that are in place at the time of inception of this administrative procedure will not require immediate compliance should the hourly wage rates be lower than the current Living Wage. However, all new and extended contracts effective after July 1st, 2022, are required to comply. 

Who needs to pay a Living Wage?
Contracts where all the following criteria are met:

  • Service contracts over $75,000 and construction contracts over $200,000 per year; and
  • Service is provided onsite at Vancouver School Board sites; and
  • Contractors or its sub-contractors provide on-going service to Vancouver School Board onsite; and
  • Work must last longer than one continuous hour per occasion or Contractor performs services over 120 hours per year.

Administrative Procedures 400 and 515 came into effect on July 1st, 2022. If you have an existing contract before this date, you do not have to comply immediately with Living Wage rates. However, at the time of a contract extension, the new rates must be in place.

Do you pay a Living Wage
Use the Living Wage for Families BC online tool for employers to calculate if you pay a Living Wage to your employees.

Frequently Asked Questions

To streamline the process, we have provided frequently asked questions and answers below.

+ What is the difference between Minimum 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 are paid (i.e., hourly, salary, commission or on an incentive basis).
Learn more on the BC Minimum Wage page.

Living Wage

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

+ Who is excluded under the Living Wage?

  • Emergency or non-recurring repairs or maintenance services where no standing contract is in place;
  • Workers that provide fewer than 120 hours of services per year;
  • Employees of organizations (for profit or non-profit) that lease property from the Vancouver School Board;
  • Volunteers.

+ What happens to existing contracts

Any existing contracts that are in place at the time of inception (January 31, 2022) will not require immediate compliance should the hourly wage rate be lower than the current Living Wage rate.
However, a contract will require compliance at the time of extension.

+ How do I notify the Vancouver School Board of possible non-compliance?

Notifications can be sent by email to purchasing@vsb.bc.ca with the following details:

  • In the subject line enter "Living Wage Non-Compliance"
  • The name of the service provider or sub-contractor
  • Date, time and location where the service provider or sub-contractor was working
  • Type of work the employee was performing
  • Your name and contact information
All notifications will be held in confidence.
Anonymous notifications will not be accepted.
Upon receipt of the notification, Purchasing will perform an audit of the service provider or sub-contractor. The audit may take the form of paystubs issued by the vendor under review or other means pertinent to arriving at the 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 short falls in pay to the affected employee at no cost to the Vancouver School Board.

Non-compliance may result in the cancellation of the contract at the discretion of the Vancouver School Board and refusal to accept bids, quotations, or proposals from that contractor for a period of one year.

Related Information

Purchasing Administrative Procedure

Employee Services Administrative Procedure


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