certification fees

Introducing fees for Living Wage Employers

Living Wage for Families BC is growing at a very exciting rate. We are certifying more employers than ever before. This is great, but also increasingly costly for our small program.

Cost of administering the Living Wage Employer program.

The certification process to become a Living Wage Employer was free for all employers. This has served an important purpose in the early stages of the program, allowing us to increase the number of certified Living Wage Employers while ensuring the cost of certification would not present a barrier for joining the movement.

However, the certification process is not without cost. Staff time involved with calculating the Living Wage and value of non-mandatory benefits, engaging, supporting and certifying employers and the costs for creating and mailing promotional materials, plaques and decals represents a considerable strain on our limited budget.

To help recover the costs required to administer the program, we have decided to introduce certification and re-certification fees for Living Wage Employers.

Feedback from Living Wage Employers

In March we surveyed certified employers to ask for their feedback on introducing fees. 75% of Living Wage Employers expressed support for introducing fees.

"The program needs to be sustainable as well show its value by charging for the certification- most certifications cost money" Business owner (21-100 staff)

"All worthy causes require support. I think it's important keep the Living Wage campaign going." – Non-profit manager (Less than 20 staff)

"We benefit from being able to advertise that we are 'Living Wage Employers', everything comes with a price tag. It is a bonus that there is formal recognition in what should be a given." Business owner (less than 20 staff)

“Employers realize benefits from certification, e.g. reputational, and in recruitment and retention” HR Manager for a municipality.

New fees

We have looked closely at the Living Wage initiatives in Canada and around the world and have decided to replicate the fees that Living Wage Ontario charge. These figures are also reflective of what Living Wage Employers told us they would be happy to pay.

Type of organisation Number of Staff in BC Price of Certification
For profit 0-50 $200
51-250 $400
251-999 $800
1000+ $1000
Non Profit/Public Bodies 0-50 $100
51-250 $200
251-999 $400
1000+ $500

There will also be an additional charge for employers wanting to receive a Living Wage plaque.

We know that the pandemic has made it a very difficult time for many employers. We encourage any employers that would like to certify or recertify with us, and will be awarding pay increases to their employees but find the new fees a barrier to engaging in the program, to please reach out to discuss alternative options.

Benefits of certifying as a Living Wage Employer

Living Wage Employers have found many benefits for joining the program:

  • Recognition – Living Wage Employers proudly display their certification on their website and with decals on their vans, shop fronts and office spaces. We also work closely with new Living Wage Employers to promote their certification through the media, web posts and social media channels. Many employers have found that certification has led to increased business for them
  • Support – We support employers to calculate the value of their non-mandatory benefits and discuss ways that they can bring their staff up to a Living Wage
  • Investing in advocacy – Living Wage for Families BC advocates for government policies which help reduce the cost of living for families in BC.

We are also exploring options to allow Living Wage Employers to network with each other and share promotional opportunities with other Living Wage Employers