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A living wage rate takes into account an employee’s total compensation package (wage + benefits).

A living wage is the hourly amount a family needs to cover basic expenses. This calculator helps employers ensure that all workers (including direct staff and contracted workers) are paid a living wage when their benefit package is taken into account.

The Living Wage for Families recognizes the value of non-mandatory benefits. When an employer provides extended health benefits it means that families do not need to purchase the extended health benefits themselves. For full details on the Metro Vancouver living wage calculation, see Working for a Living Wage: Making Paid Work Meet Basic Family Needs in Metro Vancouver by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives - BC Office (CCPA-BC).

If you have any questions about the calculator call the Living Wage for Families Campaign at 604-975-3347.

For example: Sundeep lives in Metro Vancouver. She is paid $14 an hour. Her employer pays 50% of her MSP premiums and 100% of her extended health-care premiums – the equivalent of $1.61/hour. When her hourly wage rate and benefit premium rate are combined, Sundeep earns $15.61/hour.

To earn the Metro Vancouver living wage of $19.50, Sundeep would need to receive $17.89/hour in wages, such that between her wages ($17.89) + her benefits ($1.61) she reaches the living wage of $19.50.