British Columbia

For members with stores in British Columbia: B.C. Government releases parameters for Employer Health Tax

The B.C. government has not yet introduced or passed legislation to enact the Employer Health Tax. In advance of the legislation, the B.C. Ministry of Finance has provided the first Employer Health Tax notice to provide information to employers about the parameters of the new tax.

The B.C. Employer Health Tax notice is available here:


In February 2017, the previous government announced their intention to change the funding source for health care services and end medical services plan premiums paid by most British Columbians. In February 2018, the new government announced a 1.95% payroll tax (the “Employer Health Tax”) would be the vehicle for the replacement funding.

The Employer Health Tax will begin January 1, 2019. Medical Services Plan premiums will continue through 2019 resulting in a 13-month period where many employers will pay both costs.

Next Steps:

  1. RCC opposes the Employer Health Tax. Our position is that health care services are more appropriately funded through a broadly-based tax such as income tax: the payroll tax penalizes those who employ British Columbians over those who sell goods into B.C. from other jurisdictions.
  2. RCC will continue to make the case with the B.C. Government that the number of coincident and significant increases to payroll cost jeopardizes economic growth, employment and, in particular, health of independent retail stores.
  3. RCC will continue to advocate that at a minimum the unjust 13-month overlap of medical services plan premiums and employer health tax remissions should be amended and that the small business exemption levels should be increased.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact: Greg Wilson, Director, Government Relations (B.C.) at 604-736-0368 or

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