As small business lawyers, we keep abreast of the business developments that affect our clients most. In 2018, one of those developments has been the rising minimum wage. While our clients are supportive of their workers and want to ensure that the minimum wage in BC keeps pace with inflation, many small businesses have tight margins, making changes in labour costs difficult to handle.
That is why we want to review the changes to the minimum wage and how a small business lawyer can help you navigate them.
As of June 1, the minimum wage in BC rose to $12.65 per hour – a $1.30 increase. The provincial government has also laid out a plan for additional increases every year until 2021:
- $1.20 per hour in 2019
- $0.75 per hour in 2020
- $0.60 per hour in 2021
That means, in just three years, the minimum wage will jump to $15.20 per hour.
Looking to other parts of Canada and the United States, it is possible to see the impact wage increases are having on small business owners – and their employees. The best comparison to BC, however, is Ontario. In January, the minimum wage there rose to $14 per hour. Since then, many small businesses have been cutting hours, reducing raises, or even closing down. After seeing this, it is understandable that many small business owners in BC are worried.
Benchmark Law’s small business lawyers are here to help.
How does your small business avoid ending up in financial trouble as the minimum wage rises? Here at Benchmark Law, our small business lawyers have put together a list of steps you can take to help ensure that your company is in the best position to deal with the changes to BC’s minimum wage.
1. Review your business plan
It is important to review your business plan in light of these upcoming changes. Does the strategy you had laid out still work for you? Are there business avenues you had considered in the past that may be too expensive now? Are there avenues you had overlooked that are worth taking another look at? Ask yourself the difficult questions and take time to consider your answers.
2. Return to your employee contracts
With minimum wages set to increase, it is a good time to review your employee contracts. Do you have a minimum hours guarantee? Do you provide additional benefits to your employees? Speak with your small business lawyer about whether your employment contracts are as strong as they could be – and whether you need to make changes based on the new financial pressures on your company.
3. Consider new growth strategies
Small business lawyers do not just deal with contracts and legal issues. We can also assist you in assessing growth strategies for your small business. By working on growth now, you put yourself and your business in a better position to deal with increases to the minimum wage that are occurring now and in the years to come.
Ready to get started on these steps? Contact us to book an appointment with a small business lawyer who can assist you in navigating the rising BC minimum wage.