Paydays and payroll records

Paydays required

Under Section 17 of the Employment Standards Act, employees must be paid “at least semi-monthly”.  In practice, this means either every two weeks or twice per month.  Pay must be issued within eight days of the end of each pay period.  All wages accruing, including overtime and vacation (if paid as a percentage), must be paid on each payday.

Under Section 18 of the Act, a dismissed employee is entitled to be paid all their accrued wages, and statutory pay in lieu of notice, within 48 hours of termination.

The Director of Employment Standards may issue a fine for breaches of the payday requirements.  Fines increase for repeated instances of the same infraction.

Wage statements

The employee is entitled to receive a wage statement on each payday.  The wage statement must contain the information set out in Section 27 of the Act.

Payroll records

The Employment Standards Act requires every employer to keep certain records concerning each employee.  Under Section 28, this includes:

  • The employee’s personal information;
  • Current contact information for the employee;
  • Information concerning the employee’s rate of pay;
  • Hours worked by the employee each day, regardless of whether the employee is paid on an hourly basis;
  • Records concerning time credited to and withdrawn from any time bank in which the employee participates;
  • Information concerning vacation and statutory holidays the employee has worked or taken;
  • Records concerning every deduction made from the employee’s pay, with reasons for the deductions.

This is not an exhaustive list of all the records an employer is required to keep.  The complete list can be reviewed at Section 28 of the Act.

Much of the information the employer must keep is “personal information” protected by the British Columbia Personal Information Protection Act.  The employer is required to comply with the Personal Information Protection Act when dealing with every employee’s personal information.

The information provided on this page is a general overview of the payday and payroll record-keeping rules set out in the BC Employment Standards Act.  It should not be taken as legal advice.  For answers to specific questions about your workplace obligations, contact EmployRight and speak with one of our employment lawyers.