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Basic facts about your rights as an employee

In general, minimum wage in BC is $8 per hour.

Employees must be paid at least twice per month.

A standard work week is 40 hours.

Overtime is paid for an hourly employee working more than 8 hours in a day, after which each hour is 'time-and-a-half'.

Employees are entitled to 2 weeks vacation after completing one year of employment.

Employers provide for unpaid maternity, parental and bereavement leave.

Human rights laws protect employees from unfair treatment by employers based on sex, age, race, religion or disability.

For more information, refer to the Employment Standards Act.

Wage deductions and taxation

When you are hired, your employer will deduct money from your pay cheque to pay for the following:

Income tax - You are required to file an income tax return each year, whether you earned any money or not. If you are employed, a percentage of your pay cheque will be deducted and sent to the federal government for income tax that you owe for government services. You may either receive a refund or have to pay more tax, depending on how much is deducted. For more information about income tax in Canada, click here.

Canada Pension Plan (CPP) - A small percentage amount from your pay cheque is deducted for this government plan. When you retire, you will receive a monthly pension from the federal government. The amount you receive depends on how many years you were employed in Canada and what your salary was. For more CPP information, click here.

Employment Insurance (EI) - A small percentage amount of your pay cheque is deducted each month and forms your Employment Insurance Account. Your employer(s) also contributes to this insurance in your name. This fund gives money to eligible, unemployed Canadian residents for a short time while they seek new employment or train and learn new skills. For more EI information, click here.

Taxable benefits - Your employer may provide benefits such as life insurance, special medical care, a dental plan or a private pension plan that are taxable.

Union dues - If you are a union member, and the union has an agreement with your employer, a fee will be deducted to pay for union dues.

Regulated professions

In Canada and in Vancouver, nurses, doctors, engineers, teachers and electricians all work in regulated professions, and a license is required by the regulatory body in BC in order to work in one of these areas. To find out more about how international credentials apply in Canada, click here.

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