Client Update: Pay equity legislation announced for federally regulated employers

Julia Parent and Graham Haynes

On October 29, 2018, the federal government tabled national pay equity legislation as part of its second budget implementation bill, Bill C-86. This legislation is targeted at reducing the portion of the gender wage gap which is caused by the undervaluation of work traditionally done by women.

Application

The Act, entitled An Act to Establish a Proactive Pay Equity Regime within the Federal Public and Private Sectors (Pay Equity Act) (the “Act”) applies to all federally regulated employers with 10 or more employees, including the federal public service, the federal private sector (i.e. banks, telecommunication companies, marine shipping companies, interprovincial and international transportation companies and others) and the Prime Minister and ministers’ offices.

It is worth noting that the requirements imposed under the Act are different for small employers (defined as those with 10 to 99 employees) and large employers (defined as those with 100 employees or more).

Obligations for employers

Development of a pay equity plan

The Act requires employers to develop a comprehensive pay equity plan within three years of becoming subject to the Act. The pay equity plan must, among other things, identify job classes and their gender predominance in the workplace, analyze the value of the job classes within the workplace and identify where imbalances exist between female and male predominant job classes of equal value.

Compensation equalization

If an employer’s pay equity plan identifies imbalances in a female-predominant job class when compared to male-predominant job classes of equal value, employers will have to phase-in compensation increases which equalize the compensation paid to the female-predominant job class. This may apply to more than one female-predominant job class. If the total equalization amount is at least one percent of the employer’s annual payroll, the employer will have to implement compensation increases. The number of years the entity will have to equalize payment is based on the size of the employer.

Other obligations

The Act also imposes other responsibilities on employers such as providing information to employees regarding dispute resolution procedures, updating the pay equity plan every five years and submitting a short annual statement regarding oversight of the program.

Enforcement

The Act contemplates the appointment of a Pay Equity Commissioner and the creation of a Pay Equity Unit of the Canadian Human Rights Commission which would administer and enforce the Act through a range of compliance and enforcement tools including monetary penalties.

Further information

This update is intended for general information only. If you have questions about the above information, and how it applies to your specific situation, please contact a member of the Stewart McKelvey Labour and Employment group.

SHARE

Archive

Search Archive


Generic filters

 
 

Are you compliant with the Canada Elections Act? New changes mean entities ought to be careful in assessing their obligations

September 9, 2019

John Samms The upcoming federal election is drawing near. You may be thinking about exercising your democratic and constitutional right to vote – you may not be. You may never even consider participating in the…

Read More

New occupational health and safety legislation regarding harassment effective in Newfoundland and Labrador January 1, 2020

August 30, 2019

Twila Reid and Kara Harrington On January 1, 2020, changes to the Newfoundland and Labrador Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 2012 (“Regulations”) will take effect. These changes impact employers in a variety of ways, most…

Read More

Federal employers – significant changes to the Canada Labour Code to come into force September 1, 2019

August 29, 2019

Peter McLellan, QC In the January 18, 2019 article, Change is the only constant – Bill C-86 changes in federal labour and employment regulation, we outlined in detail massive changes to how federal labour and…

Read More

Proposed Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations under the Canada Labour Code

August 2, 2019

Rick Dunlop and Madeleine Coats The proposed Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations (“Regulations”) will replace the current workplace violence obligations in the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations. Although the Regulations will likely not…

Read More

The Prince Edward Island Labour Relations Board carves out a group of firefighters from an existing bargaining unit

July 31, 2019

Hilary Foster Earlier this year, the Prince Edward Island Labour Relations Board (“Board”) issued a decision¹ wherein it certified the Charlottetown Professional Firefighters Association (“Association”) as bargaining agent for: All employees of the City of…

Read More

The New Brunswick Labour and Employment Board affirms longstanding practice against piecemeal certification of bargaining units

July 8, 2019

Bryan Mills and John Morse On May 21, 2019, the New Brunswick Labour and Employment Board (”Board”) dismissed an application by the New Brunswick Union of Public and Private Employees (“Union”) seeking certification as bargaining…

Read More

Carbon pricing: Ontario Court of Appeal delivers constitutional endorsement

July 5, 2019

Jonathan Coady and Justin Milne The Ontario Court of Appeal has found that the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act¹ is valid federal legislation.² The Act implements national minimum pricing standards to reduce greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions.…

Read More

A Charter right to testamentary freedom? The NSSC decision in Lawen Estate

July 2, 2019

Richard Niedermayer, TEP, Jennifer Taylor and Bhreagh Ross, summer student There is a right to testamentary freedom under section 7 of the Charter, according to a recent decision of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court. In…

Read More

Hydro-Quebec now subject to annual energy cap, but not a monthly cap, under much-disputed 1969 power contract: Churchill Falls (Labrador) Corp. v Hydro-Quebec, 2019 QCCA 1072

June 24, 2019

John Samms Introduction Much ink has been spilled on the controversial 1969 power contract between Hydro-Quebec and CFLCo (the contract) and last week the Quebec Court of Appeal added to the pile with its decision…

Read More

Final cannabis edibles, topicals and extracts regulations released

June 17, 2019

Kevin Landry On June 14, 2019, Health Canada announced the release of the final version of amendments to the Cannabis Regulations, which will permit for the production and sale of edibles, extracts and topicals. The…

Read More

Search Archive


Generic filters