Are Raises Required by Law?

Employment Law | July 27, 2021

Regardless of the job, employees want to feel as though they are being fairly compensated for the work they perform. After performing the same role for one or several years, employees often start to wonder if they are due for a raise. This often leads to the question “are raises required by law?”. To ensure that you are being fairly compensated for your work, it is important to understand the laws and standards regarding wages and salaries in BC. That is why the team of employment lawyers at Linley Welwood LLP has provided some information on requirements for raises.

Learn about the types of overtime pay in BC.

Does your Employer Need to Give you a Raise?

Under the Employment Standards Act, employers are not required to provide raises over time. This is true regardless of the industry or the position of the employee. Whether the employee performs manual labour or office administration, they can legally have the same salary or hourly wage for years as long as it meets or exceeds minimum wage. Despite this lack of legal requirement, most employers provide yearly raises for their employees. These raises are granted as a means of rewarding performance, inspiring loyalty, and helping employees feel as though they are growing alongside the company.

In some instances, yearly raises are outlined in the initial employment contract. If an employment contract states that an employee is entitled to regular raises, the employer must act in accordance with the terms of the agreement. Unionized employees, for example, often have annual wage increases included in their collective agreement. Before accepting an employment offer, it is worth reviewing the contract to determine if raises are required.

How can Employees Receive a Raise?

If there are no provisions or clauses for raises in your contract, you may be wondering how you can increase your hourly wage or salary. In many cases, employers will give employees a raise as part of their yearly review. While this is a common practice, it is not legally required. In many work environments, employees will not receive a raise unless they directly request one. In this situation, the employee will need to advocate for themselves and demonstrate the value of the work they perform. It should be noted that even if an employee presents a strong case, the employer is still not obligated to provide a raise.

To learn more about raises, minimum wage, and other areas of employment law, get in touch with the employment lawyers at Linley Welwood LLP. We can be reached at 604-850-6640 and are ready to answer any questions you may have.

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