The Employment Program of British Columbia is funded by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.

The Wage Subsidy Program provides temporary wage subsidies to employers who hire and provide work experience and skills enhancement to eligible clients.

Eligible employers can be reimbursed for up to 50% percent of a participant’s gross wages and mandatory employment-related costs such as EI, CPP etc. Workplace accommodations for persons with disabilities, tools, and short-term, certificate based training may also be reimbursed.

The incentive assists with training costs while the new employee gains the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in your organization.

Who is eligible for a wage subsidy?

Employment Insurance (EI) Clients and BCEA – Single Parent Employment Initiative (SPEI) Clients who have been assessed as needing work experience are eligible for this service.

Job Seekers

How does this service work?

The Wage Subsidy Program can be a very effective tool in finding employment. Funding assistance to subsidize the cost of training a new employee can, may make a big difference in their decision to hire! We’ll provide you with a marketing letter for Employers that outlines the features and benefits of our Wage Subsidy Program.

Eligibility Criteria

  • You are unemployed and receiving Employment Insurance (EI), or
  • You have received EI benefits that ended in the past five years, or
  • You have received EI Maternity or Parental benefits that started in the past five years, or
  • You are eligible for the Single Parent Employment Initiative.

Where do I start?

Talk to your Employment Services Advisor to discuss eligibility and receive your “Wage Subsidy Marketing Letter”.


How does this service work?

  • Once eligibility has been confirmed for both the job seeker and the employer/position, the employer will provide a detailed job description and training plan.
  • A signed agreement must be in place before the employee can start work. The employer will pay the worker as they would any other employee and then submit a claim form to receive the wage subsidy.
  • Must be a full-time position with a minimum of 35 hours per week.

To be eligible, Employers must:

  • Be a registered business with legal business name/ business number for at least one year
  • Confirm the Client would not have been hired without a wage subsidy and is not an existing employee
  • Offer a full-time position of a minimum of 35 hours per week
  • Client must be paid a reasonable, competitive market wage
  • Offer the likelihood of long term employment

How much of the employee’s wage will be covered?

The amount of the subsidy ranges from 25% to 50% and is negotiated between the Employer and Work BC Merritt.

How long can the Wage Subsidy Work Experience Placement last?

The length of wage subsidies can range between 3 to 6 months.

What are the benefits?

  • You’re hiring an employee who is motivated to learn the knowledge and skills to do the job at a professional level
  • There’s a screening process in place to find the best fit between you and the employee, saving you time in the hiring process
  • You gain access to an employee pool that has many of the transferable skills that employers like you need
  • One of our dedicated job developers is on hand to provide support and monitoring throughout the 24-week period should any issues arise

What are the Employer expectations? What else do I need to know?

  • Employers must be committed to training the employee for the position
  • The duration and rate of the wage will be directly related to the amount of training required for the employee to obtain the skills necessary to be successful in the position
  • You will issue regular pay cheques on paydays; Work BC Merritt will reimburse the negotiated amount on a monthly basis
  • You will submit monthly reports to Work BC Merritt regarding the employee’s hours and training progress.
  • The employer makes the final hiring decision to accept or decline the client 
  • The Employer must complete TD1’s and adequate bookkeeping/ payroll systems are in place
  • 1-2 on site visits are required during the wage subsidy period.

How do I get started?

Call us at 250-378-5151 or email for an Employer Wage Subsidy Application Form.

Contact Us

Looking for work? We can help.

We understand finding a rewarding career can be a challenge. WorkBC Merritt offers a range of free programs and services, the use of our Self Serve Resource Centre and one-on-one assistance with an Employment Advisor.

Learn More