Living Wage Employer logo

Living wage

We are a living wage employer, effective May 1, 2017. Vancouver is the largest city in Canada to commit to the living wage.

As a certified living wage employer, we are committed to paying our direct employees and contracted services employees a living wage.

Adopting a living wage policy is a priority of our Healthy City Strategy and demonstrates our commitment to support healthy, thriving communities and help individuals and families make ends meet.

What is a living wage

The living wage is the hourly rate required for two working adults to meet the basic needs of a family of four. It is calculated annually by the Living Wage for Families Campaign (LWFC) External website and is based on regional cost of living.

The living wage includes direct wages and the value of non-mandatory benefits, such as paid sick leave, employer-paid MSP premiums, and extended health benefits.

Visit LWFC  for the current living wage rate for Metro Vancouver.

Who needs to pay a living wage

Vendors who provide services that meet the following living wage criteria need to ensure that employees (including employees of subcontractors) who perform these services are paid a living wage:

  • Estimated annual value of the contract is greater than $250,000
  • Services are to be performed on properties owned by, or leased to the City including all streets, sidewalks, and other public rights of way.
  • Services are provided on a regular, ongoing basis
  • Contractor is expected to perform the services for greater than 120 hours per year of the contract.

The living wage standards are not applicable for:

  • Emergency or non-recurring repairs or maintenance services where no standing contract is in place
  • Services performed by organizations that lease property from the City
  • Contracts with social enterprises

What this policy means to you

Our Procurement Policy (section 11A) PDF file (110 KB) incorporates living wage standards for services purchased in support of City and Park Board operations, effective May 1, 2017. These standards are included in our bid processes and applicable new service contracts. Contracts signed prior to May 1, 2017 are not impacted.

Service contracts that meet the living wage criteria need to ensure that the rates paid to employees of the contractor, and any subcontractors, meet the living wage standard. Contractors are asked to submit bid pricing schedules that reflect the living wage rate where applicable.

For questions about the our living wage requirements, email

Check if you pay a living wage

The Living Wage for Families Campaign provides an online tool for employers External website to calculate the living wage for their workplace, considering the total compensation package.

Ask questions about living wage

For concerns about non-compliance with our living wage standards, contact the Living Wage for Families Campaign (LWFC) External website at or 604-975-3347. We are committed to working in partnership with the LWFC and vendors to uphold these standards.