Kicking Horse Janitorial Ltd is the first company in Golden to become a certified Living Wage Employer, committing to paying its staff and contracted workers a Living Wage.
The living wage is the hourly amount a family needs to cover basic expenses. The calculation is based on a two-parent family with two children – the most common family unit in BC – with each parent working full-time. The Living Wage for Golden is $19.46 an hour, as established by Living Wage Canada standards.
“All people deserve to be compensated in a way that allows them and their families to do more than scrape by,” said Scott Weir, owner of Kicking Horse Janitorial.
“A living wage is a good starting place for that and something important that employers can do for the health of their community, staff, and their own businesses’ long-term viability. I encourage businesses to see the living wage as just the cost of doing business moving forward.
“It helps people not just live in our community, but participate in it as well.”
“We’re delighted that Kicking Horse Janitorial has become a Living Wage Employer. We hope it encourages other employers in Golden to join the Living Wage movement. Paying a living wage is good for workers, employers and the local community” said Anastasia French, Living Wage for Families BC
Weir says that being a living wage employer helps the business to stand out, as well as attract and retain quality staff, which is an asset in the current challenging labour market.
He also says that a certified living wage employer holds businesses accountable to compensating their employees in a way that values people and the sustainability of our community. With this move, Weir hopes to see other businesses stepping up to the plate to get certified.
“If just one business is doing it, it doesn’t do anything, but if more do, it really helps them as employers, but also helps put a bit of emphasis on the importance of why we as employers need to do this,” said Weir.
“Keeping in mind most businesses in town would qualify if they went through the process, but for the ones who aren’t paying a living wage, it’s a goo reminder and incentive to pay competitive wages.”
The GCED established their own living wage in November 2021, which came out to be at $22.07, however, they used different data than Living Wage Canada, who certifies Living Wage Employers.
Weir, who is on the GCED board, says that both numbers are important, and that while starting wages at Kicking Horse Janitorial is at the $19.46/hour marker, factoring benefits and sick paid leave means that the wage is above the $22.07.
He says that it’s important to have the ‘apples to apples’ comparison that Living Wage Canada provides, which uses standard data across all communities that it calculates. While GCED provides a hyper-local perspective, it can’t be compared to the cost of living in other communities in B.C., who have used the Living Wage Canada standard.
“We applaud Kicking Horse Janitorial for stepping up to be Golden’s first Living Wage employer and we hope that many more businesses will follow their lead,” said Jill Dewtie, Executive Director with Golden Community Economic Development (GCED).
To get certified, a business fills out an application online through Living Wage Canada, who will then adjudicate if they meet the standard.
Becoming certified is a commitment to continuing to match wages over the years to the cost of living as it fluctuates.