How to Calculate Overtime Pay in BC

  • HR Policies
Calculating overtime pay in BC
Olivia Cicchini

Olivia Cicchini, Employment Law Expert

(Last updated )

Giving employees accurate overtime pay is crucial for ensuring they are compensated fairly for their work. By understanding B.C.'s overtime regulations, different types of overtime, and how to calculate overtime pay, employers in the province can maintain fairness, legal compliance, and employee satisfaction in the workplace.

Here's a guide to help you understand and calculate overtime pay:

How do I calculate overtime pay in BC?

In British Columbia, overtime pay is governed by the Employment Standards Act (ESA). According to the ESA, employees are entitled to overtime pay when they work more than eight hours in a day or 40 hours in a week. The overtime pay rate is time-and-a-half or 1.5 times the employee's regular wage for each overtime hour worked.

Here is a breakdown of the different types of overtime in BC:

Daily overtime

Employees are paid 1.5 times their regular pay for any time worked over eight hours in a day and up to 12 hours, even when they haven’t worked more than 40 hours in a week. Employees are paid double time (2X) when they work over 12 hours in a day.

Weekly overtime

Employees are paid time-and-a-half for any time worked over 40 hours a week, even when they haven’t worked eight hours in a day. ESA defines a work week as the period starting on Sunday and ending on Saturday.

Statutory holiday overtime

When an employee works on a statutory holiday, they are entitled to an average day's pay in addition to time-and-a-half for any overtime hours worked. Employees do not receive overtime for their regular holiday work hours.

Overtime pay structure in BC

Overtime pay is generally calculated and paid on each pay period. For example, if an employee works 10 hours of overtime in a week, those 10 hours are calculated at the overtime rate and added to the employee's regular wages for that week.

Who is exempt from overtime pay in BC?

Some professions are exempt from the standard hours of work and overtime requirements. You can find the full list of exempted occupations on the B.C. provincial government website

In general, these jobs are excluded from the regular overtime pay rules:

  • Teachers.
  • Police officers.
  • Firefighters.
  • Commercial travellers.
  • A live-in home support worker.
  • A locomotive engineer or helper.

How to calculate overtime rate

The overtime rate is usually 1.5 times the employee's regular hourly wage. To calculate overtime pay for a single week, follow these steps:

  • Determine the regular hourly wage.
  • Identify the number of hours that qualify for overtime.
  • Calculate the overtime rate (1.5 times for over eight hours of work, and double times for over 12 hours of work).
  • Multiply the overtime rate by the number of overtime hours to get the overtime pay amount.

Example: If an employee's regular hourly wage is $15 and they worked 10 hours of overtime: 

  • Regular hourly wage: $15 
  • Overtime rate: $15 x 1.5 = $22.50 
  • Overtime hours: 10 
  • Overtime pay: $22.50 x 10 = $225

Extra pay for working during time off

The ESA requires employees to have at least 32 hours of continuous rest from work each week. If an employee works during this rest period, they must receive 1.5 times their usual wage for the extra work. If this additional work comes after their regular work hours and is considered overtime, then they must be paid the typical overtime rate.

Do you need help calculating overtime pay in BC?

Our expert HR team can guide you through the complexities of overtime pay, ensuring compliance with B.C. employment standards and avoiding costly errors. With our tailored solutions, you can streamline your administrative processes and focus on what matters most – running your business.

Contact us today to learn more about our services. Call 1 (833) 247-3652 to speak to an expert. 

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