Remuneration Disclosure Obligations of B.C.’s New Societies Act

Authored by Nevena Belovska, Associate Director of Legal Affairs

The new British Columbia Societies Act is set to replace the current Society Act on November 28, 2016. While it is, in many ways, similar to the outgoing Society Act, it also introduces a number of new elements and concepts. Some of the key changes have been reviewed in a previous Noteworthy blog post and can be found here.

One of the new requirements under the Societies Act for publicly funded societies[i] is the disclosure of remuneration for directors, employees, and contractors.[ii]

Directors

The financial statements of a publicly funded society must include a note listing all the directors that the society has paid during the period covered by the financial statements along with their position or title, the amount of remuneration, and  if remunerated for acting in a capacity other than director, a description of the capacity in which each such director acted. The names of the directors do not have to be disclosed.

Employees and Contractors

The note must also include the remuneration paid by the society to all employees and contractors whose remuneration was at least $75,000, unless there are more than ten employees and contractors remunerated at over $75,000, in which case only the ten most highly remunerated persons must be included in the list.

The list must include

  • In the case of employees, each employee’s position or title and, in the case of contractors, the nature of the contractual services provided by each contractor; and
  • the amount of remuneration paid during the applicable period to each of those individuals

The list may, but is not required to include, the individuals’ names.

The second option is to provide the total number of individuals earning over $75,000 and the total amount of remuneration paid to them during the applicable period.

Conclusion

While, at first glance, these new requirements may seem overly invasive to societies, they are seen as important accountability and transparency measures, which are meant to promote both members’ and donors’ confidence and trust in publicly funded societies. [iii] Nonetheless, by not requiring the names of the individuals, the new legislation seeks to balance these lofty objectives with the protection of individual privacy.[iv]

 

[i] This requirement does not apply to member-funded societies

[ii] section 36(1) of the Societies Act and sections 8 and 9 of the Regulations

[iii] Societies Act White Paper: Draft Legislation with Annotations, August 2014, section 35, online: http://www.fin.gov.bc.ca/pld/fcsp/pdfs/SocietyActWhitePaper.pdf

[iv] Ibid.

Noteworthy is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Every organization’s circumstances are unique. Before acting on the basis of information contained in this blog, readers should consult with a qualified lawyer for advice specific to their situation.