Employer Practices

Published on May 26th, 2011


For this study, 10 employees were surveyed on topics such as employment satisfaction from a variety of backgrounds including general office work, retail, personal fitness, and the food industry. All interviewees made less than the living wage. Four employers were also surveyed (1 retail, 1 fast food, 1 office and 1 restaurant) regarding hiring practices and familiarity with Living Wage. Results of the survey are summarized below.

Key Findings


Only one employee found their current employment completely unsatisfying, the others are fairly satisfied with their job. All but one employee is currently keeping an eye out for other employment. Younger employees are likely to change jobs purely based on a wage increase; the older employees are more likely to want to move into a different field if they were to change employment. Some employees making less than the Living Wage have other income that we may not see when we see them working. Others getting less than the minimum wage may have more financial responsibilities than what we may see at a glance.


Employers believe that a flexible work schedule is one of the best things that they can offer their employees. Three out of four of our employers were not familiar with the Living Wage (when called the Living Wage). None of the employers interviewed came within $4 of guessing the actual Abbotsford Living Wage. An effort in presentation and eagerness to learn are the two most common things employers look for when hiring and there are very few barriers to employment. All employers will consider a person’s life conditions if they are mentioned and they are almost never of determent to the potential employee but an employer cannot ask so this information must be offered. All of the employers believe that creation of a close-knit group and an emphasis on team building fosters loyalty to the company because employees feel comfortable and appreciated. Food industry feels particularly strongly about providing ongoing feedback to their employees, more so than the office or retail employers.