The living wage for the Cowichan Valley in 2021 is $19.13 an hour – Citizen of the Cowichan Valley

The living wage in the Cowichan Valley in 2021 is $19.13 per hour according to Living Wage BC and Social Planning Cowichan.

That’s an increase of 5.4%, or nearly a dollar, from the 2019 figure that was calculated at $18.15 an hour.

Due to the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Living Wage BC has not performed a living wage calculation for 2020.

The living wage calculation is based on a standard formula across British Columbia for the minimum amount of income required to cover the costs of housing, transportation, food, clothing and other basic needs for two working parents full time with two children.

The living wage is a conservative estimate representing the bare minimum of what a family needs to earn to cover a very modest amount of expenses.

The living wage in Nanaimo in 2021 is $16.33, $20.46 for Greater Victoria, $20.52 for Greater Vancouver, $16.44 for Comox Valley and $18.55 for Penticton.

Ryan Watson of Social Planning Cowichan said the CPS encourages all businesses in the Cowichan Valley to pay their staff at the living wage rate that has been calculated for the area.

He said paying staff a living wage benefits employers and the community as a whole in many ways.

“Studies have shown that by adopting a living wage policy, companies see improved job quality for their staff, improved productivity and better service delivery to clients and customers, as job stress staff resulting from economic uncertainty is reduced with higher pay,” Watson said.

“It also leads to lower absenteeism rates and reduced turnover, creating savings in hiring and training, which also helps increase production. Businesses also benefit from increased spending communities in general, as much of the increase in staff income will contribute to a boosted and robust local economy Finally, companies that pay a living wage benefit from greater social responsibility and a reputation as an employer of choice, which is essential to attracting and retaining a talented and motivated workforce.

Watson said in the new year, businesses in the Cowichan Valley Regional District can become a Cowichan Living Wage certified employer by adopting a living wage policy for all employees and contractors.

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Michael A. Bynum