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Wage Subsidy

Wage Subsidy Service FAQ

What is a Wage Subsidy?
The Wage Subsidy Service of the Employment Program of BC is designed to assist unemployed people who require some training to find full-time work. It provides temporary wage subsidies to employers who hire and train eligible candidates. A win-win situation occurs when the worker gains new skills and experience, and the employer gains a trained employee, along with financial acknowledgement of the time it takes to conduct that training.

What are the job requirements?

  • The position must be 35 or more hours per week. Some flexibility in hours is possible if required by the new employee.
  • The position must be ongoing after the subsidy ends.
  • The employer cannot have any employees on layoff from the position for which the client is being hired.

What are the employer requirements?

  • The employer must be a legal business located in the Powell River Region and normally be in business for at least a year.
  • The business must be a registered with Canada Revenue Agency and be up to date with source deductions.
  • The business must be registered and in good standing with WCB coverage and comply with BC Labour Standards.
  • The employer must determine a fixed rate of pay – commission-only and piece-work positions are not eligible.
  • The employer must be prepared to provide orientation and train the new employee and confirm that the candidate would not have been hired without a wage subsidy.

Who is an eligible candidate?

  • Unemployed individuals either receiving EI or who have had a claim in the last five years (including maternity/parental claims)
  • Individuals who are legally entitled to work in Canada
  • Individuals who are on an active job search
  • Individuals who lack skills or experience for their employment goal
  • Individuals who are single parents receiving income assistance
  • Individuals cannot be a previous employee of the company or a relative of the owner(s)/manager(s)

How do I find out if the person I am interested in hiring is eligible for the Wage Subsidy service?
Ask the individual to contact Career Link at 604-485-7958 and set up an appointment with an employment counsellor. We will be able to confirm eligibility with the candidate.
NOTE:The candidate cannot start work until the Wage Subsidy agreement is signed.

How much is the subsidy?
The duration and percentage of the subsidy is determined by the amount of training the candidate will likely require.
The Wage Subsidy Coordinator will discuss the candidate’s qualifications and job description with the employer and assist the employer in creating a training plan for the candidate. The training plan is then reviewed by the Wage Subsidy Committee which determines the duration and percentage of the subsidy.

How long does it take to get the subsidy in place?
Once the client and employer have made contact with the Wage Subsidy Coordinator and completed the appropriate paperwork, it can take as little as 24 hours to complete a signed agreement.

How is the candidate paid?
The employer pays the candidate as they would any other employee. The employer then supplies Career Link with claim forms for reimbursement.

How much paperwork is there?
  • The employer will receive an application form and be asked to provide a detailed job description and training plan for the position. They will sign an agreement with Career Link and the new employee, which Career Link’s Wage Subsidy Coordinator will prepare.
  • At the end of each pay period, the employer submits a claim form (with payment documentation) which Career Link reviews in order to calculate the reimbursement.
  • The employer and employee agree to partake in monitoring visits during the subsidy period, including two mandatory on-site visits.

What if there is a problem with the employee?
The employer-employee relationship with a Wage Subsidy candidate is the same as with any other employee. Employment can be terminated by either party, according to Employment Standards and BC Labour laws, at which point the Wage Subsidy agreement will end. Career Link’s Wage Subsidy Coordinator is available to help resolve on-the-job employment issues, if requested by either party.

For more information, contact Program Coordinator Rob Hughes at Career Link: 604-485-7958 or