WorkBC Wage Subsidy

The WorkBC Wage Subsidy program covers a portion of employee wages in exchange for on-the-job training and work experience. Both sides benefit from a wage subsidy – job seekers can gain new skills, experience, and employment, while employers get financial support for on-the-job training. The Wage Subsidy platform has been updated as of January 17, 2024. 


Wage subsidies help employers:

  • Reduce the cost of hiring and training a new  employee
  • Cover a portion of employee wages
  • Fill needed positions
  • Reduce work-related barriers for an employee with disabilities

Program benefits for job seekers:

  • Paid work experience opportunities
  • On-the-job training
  • Possible long-term employment options

To submit your application for Wage Subsidy, you will need the following information:

  1. Your CRA Business Number
  2. Create a Basic or Business BCeID account to sign in to the WorkBC Wage Subsidy platform
  3. Your employee’s e-mail address (if you have an employee)

Apply Now

Employers who need an employee can get started by:

WorkBC Centres administer the wage subsidy program and can:

  • Help you with your application
  • Tell you more about the program
  • Match you with a suitable job seeker

Wage Subsidy rates for WorkBC Clients:

  • First 8 Weeks: 50% subsidy, up to $500 weekly
  • Second 8 Weeks: 25% subsidy, up to $250 weekly
  • Final 8 Weeks: 15% subsidy, up to $150 weekly

Wage Subsidy rates for Priority Clients:

  • First 8 Weeks: 75% subsidy, up to $750 weekly
  • Second 8 Weeks: 50% subsidy, up to $500 weekly
  • Final 8 Weeks: 25% subsidy, up to $250 weekly

Wage Subsidy rates for Custom Category Clients:

  • Covers up to 78 weeks
  • Negotiated percentage, up to the weekly maximum amount (cannot exceed 85%)

Priority Clients include:

  • Youth (aged 16-30)
  • Individuals with disabilities, either Persons with Disabilities (PWD) designation through the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction OR who have had a disability confirmed through a WorkBC Centre

Custom Category Clients include:

  • WorkBC-matched people with disabilities or complex barriers to employment


Review the handbook for more details on eligibility criteria and the application process: Wage Subsidy Handbook


Job Seeker Eligibility

All unemployed residents of B.C. who are identified through the WorkBC Employment Services Contractor OR a job seeker identified by an employer may be eligible

Employer Eligibility
An Employer must:

  • Be a registered business inC.
  • Comply with all applicable legislation including, but not limited to, the Employment Standards Act, Workers Compensation Act, Income Tax Act (Canada) and the Employment Insurance Act (Canada)
  • Be at Arm’s Length from the WorkBC service provider and employee
  • Offer a full-time position of approximately 35-40 hours per week, unless the Job seeker has a documented need for fewer hours per week
  • Offer Insurable Employment
  • Offer a position where the job and work are primarily done inC.
  • Not fill a position vacant because of layoff (other than by filling it with the laid-off person, unless that person declines the position)
  • Confirm that the jobseeker is not an existing employee unless they have been laid-off and are being recalled
  • Confirm the jobseeker would not be hired in the absence of a Wage Subsidy
  • Confirm that as a result of the Wage Subsidy placement, no workers will experience reduction in hours or be laid-off
  • Offer the likelihood of long-term employment or provide needed work experience to help the jobseeker achieve long-term employment elsewhere
  • Pay reasonable, competitive wages reflecting the prevailing wage rate for the position Clients who are matched through a WorkBC Centre).

An Employer must not:

  • Be either the Government of BC or the Government of Canada
  • Be considered part of the “public sector,” including municipalities, schools, school boards, public universities and colleges, hospitals, health authorities or “other government entities”
  • Offer Employment based on 100% commission or piecework. Employment including some earnings based on commission or piecework may be supported, but the Client must be paid a guaranteed labour market wage in addition to any commission-based earnings
  • Be an active WorkBC Client participating in Self-Employment Services
  • Offer a position working under a WorkBC Contract
  • Be the WorkBC Contractor that provides the Wage Subsidy
  • Be in receipt of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), or other Wage
  • Subsidy funding for the same client WorkBC will be subsidizing during the same period

Questions and Answers

What is the meaning of “at arm’s length”?
Arm’s length means two parties (i.e. each may be an individual, a corporation, society or another type of organization) that are free and independent of each other. There is no special relationship between them (e.g. family) and each has no authority to control the other nor does a common entity control both. If two parties are not arms-length from each other, any dealings between them may result in a perceived or actual conflict of interests and should be carefully considered.

For the purposes of arm’s length, a family member includes immediate family as well as other relatives and individuals considered to be like family, whether or not related by marriage, common-law partnership, or any legal parent-child relationship.

Is the Wage Subsidy service only available for B.C. jobs?
Yes, all individuals subsidized under a WorkBC Wage Subsidy must be in a position where the job and work are primarily done in B.C.

Can I receive the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and the WorkBC Wage Subsidy for the same employee?
You cannot receive both for the same WorkBC client at the same time. You may be eligible for the WorkBC Wage Subsidy if CEWS has ended.

What is the maximum number of subsidies an Employer is eligible for?
An Employer can have up to 5 active Wage Subsidy agreements per CRA Business Number at one time and a maximum of 10 subsidized clients per year.

Can I access WorkBC Wage Subsidy for any job seeker who is underemployed?
Employees who are underemployed are not eligible for a Wage Subsidy. However, they are encouraged to contact their local WorkBC Centre to enquire about services and supports that might be available to help them achieve full-time employment.

Can Employers recall employees who were laid off?
Yes, but employers must not fill a position vacant due to a layoff (other than with the laid-off person, unless they have declined the position).

Can I provide a wage subsidy that is less than 35 hours per week?
The 35 hours per week requirement is approximate, but the intent of the Wage Subsidy service is to support full-time placements. Job seekers who require less than a full-time Wage Subsidy must contact their WorkBC Centre (these clients must be Case Managed Clients who are matched through a WorkBC Centre).

What information do I need for the application?
You will need to create a Basic or Business BCeID account to sign in to the WorkBC Wage Subsidy account, your CRA Business Number, and your employee’s e-mail address (if you have an employee).

Why do I need a Basic or Business BCeID account?

You will require either a Business BCeID or a Basic BCeID to log in to the Wage Subsidy platform.

Business BCeID

Use a Business BCeID if you would like to submit, view, and share applications and claim forms within your organization.
If you are starting a new Business BCeID registration, it can take some time to verify your business if it is not already registered with BC Registries and Online Services. If time is an issue, set up Basic BCeID now and convert it to Business BCeID later. If your organization already has a Business BCeID account, talk to your account administrator to ensure you have a user account. This can be done under the organization’s overall account.

Basic BCeID

With a Basic BCeID, you will be able to log in to the platform to submit and view your own applications and claim forms. You will not be able to share applications and claim forms with others with this type of BCeID.

You need about 10 minutes to complete the application. Our WorkBC Centre will contact you if they need more information for your application, or if your application is approved.

  • If you have an identified job seeker in mind, you will need to submit their email in your application as well
  • If you have a position available but have not identified an employee, you can apply to be matched to a qualified, job-ready candidate. WorkBC will inform you about the next steps in the application process once you have applied.

Do wage subsidy employees need to be WorkBC clients?
Yes, employers can:

  • Match existing WorkBC Case Managed clients to opportunities, OR
  • They can be identified by an employer

What financial support is an employer and employee eligible for?
Employers may be eligible for support, such as:

  • Some of the employee’s wages (See Wage subsidy rates in section 2 of this guide)
  • Employer portion of the Mandatory Employment Related Costs (MERCs)- EI, CPP, WorkSafeBC, Vacation Pay

Employees may be eligible for support, such as:

  • Essential work clothing
  • Essential work supplies; safety materials
  • Transportation support (gas cards or compass load) for up to one month
  • Short Term Training (up to 35 hours) for example Foodsafe, First Aid, etc. as required by the employer

Contact Us

Please give us a call at 604-829-2300 or send us an email via  if you have any questions or need additional information. Our staff would be happy to assist you in completing your application.