Updated: May 2
British Columbia recently announced a new pay transparency legislation, which requires companies to disclose pay ranges on job postings. This legislation aims to promote greater transparency and fairness in the workplace, reduce wage discrimination, and close the gender pay gap. Companies are expected to comply with this legislation by providing an accurate and up-to-date pay range for each advertised position. Similar laws exist in at least 17 states in the US, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Nevada, New York, and Washington.
While this legislation promotes an equitable and transparent workplace; it is complex to navigate as listing salaries for new employees impacts current employees as well and would require tremendous amounts of work in the next upcoming months to ensure compliance.
As such, consider the following steps to prepare a strategic approach to the new legislation that will take effect on November 2023:
Step 1: Lay Out a Plan
We advise our clients to carefully assess the readiness before beginning any work. This means checking if you have the right resources, skills, and support to make it happen. For example, you will need to make sure that you have a well-articulated compensation philosophy, up-to-date market data & job descriptions and established salary bands.
Step 2: (Re) Create and Develop Compensation Philosophy
Develop a clear and consistent compensation philosophy that aligns with the company’s overall values and objectives. Even if you have one already, this will be an opportunity to review it. A compensation philosophy acts as a framework for all your decisions around salary, variable compensation, equity, and certain benefits.
Step 3: Benchmark your roles and job levels:
You now need to identify job profiles and levels at your organization. This step is necessary as you need to match your internal roles with the external market salary data to justify a salary for a job.
An internal job profile or competency framework should include:
Scope of the role
Level of influence
Step 4: Conduct Salary Benchmarking & Job Leveling:
Now that you have updated your job profiles; you will start “benchmarking” or matching your roles to the market surveys. This includes salary data from participating organizations that are applicable to your industry, location, and company size. This step also involves determining whether you want to pay below (Target < 50th percentile), at (Target=50th percentile), or above the market rate (Target = 75% percentile).
Step 5: Develop Internal Salary Bands:
After completing the benchmarking process, we now have all the necessary compensation data to create internal salary structure and ranges for job profiles & levels.
You will need to smooth out the difference between each level and role. This is a crucial step as you need to have a logical progression from level to level that supports your compensation philosophy and goals. One strategy is to have wider ranges with more overlap. This allows the opportunity for employees to remain in their role longer with potential increase in pay without a need for promotion as one example.
As part of this process, you will need to evaluate each employee’s current salary position within the salary bands and determine whether they need to be re-assessed. This will involve analyzing each employee’s compensation ratio (i.e., their current salary relative to the market rate) and making adjustments as necessary to ensure that employees are being compensated fairly and equitably.
Step 6: The Launch
With careful planning and communication, pay transparency can be a powerful tool for building trust and engagement among employees. Communicate the new changes to managers and employees to help raise confidence and credibility in your pay transparency approach. Lastly, it is important to note that developing internal salary bands is an ongoing process that requires regular monitoring and review to ensure that your compensation strategy remains competitive and aligned with the market.