June 17, 2019

BC Wage Subsidy Program

Did you know that WorkBC is offering a Wage Subsidy program? The program provides financial reimbursement to employers who hire and train eligible job seekers who are receiving or have received EI benefits in the past five years. This includes those who have received EI Maternity or Parental benefits!

Both workers and employers benefit from this service: the worker gains new skills and experience (as well as employment), and the employer gains a trained employee, along with financial support to conduct the necessary training. The service is available to businesses across the province, and can be a huge help in bringing on new talent to your team.

The process is simple and can happen one of two ways.

Option 1: Finding the right candidate

The employer connects with WorkBC to find eligible candidates through a recommendation process.

Option 2: Making the case for the right candidate

The employer finds a candidate who fits the eligibility of the program and contacts ljorgensen@worklink.bc.ca (or your local Wage Subsidy Advisor) to get the ball rolling.

It’s important to note that these steps must be completed prior to the candidate starting the role.

Next Steps

Once eligibility has been confirmed for both the candidate and the employer, the employer will develop and send in documentation, including a work experience plan with timelines to measure success, a description of the duties of the role, and a description of the approach to training, both on-the-job or external, if applicable. The candidate then meets with an Employment Advisor to discuss the terms of the role. Finally, a Wage Subsidy Specialist will join for an onsite visit to sign the Wage Subsidy agreement. Once the final agreement is signed by all parties, then the candidate is able to start their new role! The Wage Subsidy Specialist will visit for monthly check-ins with the supervisor and employee for status updates on the work experience plan.

The Numbers

The amount of the subsidy will depend on how much training is needed for the position: typically it is equal to 50% of the new employee’s wage for a period of up to 24 weeks. A great plus is that it often encourages employers to provide additional training for these employees where they might not otherwise have received it!

The employer will pay the worker as they would any other employee and at the end of each month, the employer will submit a claim form to receive the subsidy.

How do I know if I’m eligible for the Wage Subsidy Program?

For the job seeker (minimum eligibility criteria):

  • You are unemployed and receiving Employment Insurance (EI), or

  • You have received EI benefits that ended in the past five years, or

  • You have received EI Maternity or Parental benefits that started in the past five years, or

  • You are eligible for the Single Parent Employment Initiative.

  • Has earned more than $2,000 in insurable earnings and paid EI employee premiums on those earnings in at least five (consecutive or non-consecutive) of the last 10 years.

For the employer:

  • Must be a registered business with Canada Revenue, and be up to date with source deductions.

  • Must be registered and in good standing with WCB coverage and comply with BC Labour Standards.

  • Must have been in business for at least one year.

Role requirements:

  • Must be a full-time position with a minimum of 35 hours per week.

  • Must pay competitive wages that are reflective of current wage ranges for similar positions.

  • Commission only and piece-work positions are not eligible.

  • The position must continue after the subsidy ends. (Maximum duration of subsidy is 24 weeks.)

  • The employer cannot have any employees on layoff from the position for which the worker is being hired

FreshWorks has taken advantage of the Wage Subsidy Program in the past, allowing us to bring on an all-star Quality Assurance Analyst named Rai.

“The Wage Subsidy Program allowed us to invest more time into improving a specific skillset that both our new hire, Rai, was interested in and which benefited the company. Rai has become an invaluable resource to FreshWorks and has been able to utilize all of the skills he learnt from his learning plan in his current projects.” – Shannon Parker, FreshWorks Studio HR Manager

Find out more by visiting WorkBC’s website, or contacting your local Wage Subsidy Advisor.

Tagged: BC TechHiringHR

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