Recognized as one of BC's Top Employers (2021):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 15, 2021)
Here are some of the reasons why British Columbia Utilities Commission was selected as one of BC's Top Employers (2021):
- British Columbia Utilities Commission encourages employees to take the time they need to recharge with a generous time off policy (up to four weeks of starting vacation allowance) and up to 10 paid personal days off, which can be scheduled at employees' discretion
- British Columbia Utilities Commission offers phased-in work options for employees nearing retirement and offers peace-of-mind with contributions to a defined benefit pension plan
- As part of British Columbia Utilities Commission's health benefits plan, employees receive a health spending account of up to $710 per year as well as a separate wellness spending account of up to $315 annually
BCUC gives power to the people – and employees
When the COVID-19 pandemic threatened to pull the plug on B.C.’s economy, the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) stepped up to help keep power on for the people. Both the public and their employees benefited.
“The work we do is quite technical but it’s impactful in the community and for businesses,” says Leon Cheung, senior economist. “We’re mindful that people are struggling right now due to COVID-19 so we factor that into our work as we know it could have a big impact on British Columbians.”
The BCUC is responsible for ensuring safe, reliable energy and basic auto insurance services at fair rates from the businesses they regulate. Headquartered in Vancouver, it regulates energy utilities like BC Hydro and administers B.C.’s Fuel Price Transparency Act, among other duties.
On top of its regular tasks, as the pandemic progressed, the BCUC worked with its regulated entities to adapt its processes and ensure the power stayed on for B.C.’s ratepayers. They did it despite having to shift from an office environment to working remotely virtually overnight.
“I’m proud of our people for the way we’ve responded so quickly and efficiently,” says David Morton, chair and chief executive officer.
“We’re reaching out in a way we’ve never done before and I’m really happy to see how well our team has been able to do that and how well received it’s been.”
A collaborative corporate culture based on a matrix management structure is one reason the BCUC was able to keep the lights on during the dark days of the pandemic. Employees like Cheung can have many roles, which helps the team adapt and allocate staff efficiently and effectively. Building interdepartmental teams brings a holistic approach to tackling any task.
“The people who work at the BCUC are intelligent, humble, passionate doers and they have the maturity to get the job done,” says Viki Vourlis Fisher, executive director of corporate services.
Throughout the pandemic, the BCUC has maintained and prioritized support for its employees. It enhanced its internal communications efforts, introduced new IT programs, provided appropriate health and wellness support and continued to provide learning and development opportunities for its team members, items that are important to compliance analyst Dyne Day.
“I adore that the BCUC is open and willing to work with its team to help you stay informed, maintain the culture while being remote, and get the tools, resources and education you may require to do your best,” Day says.