Client Update: Pay equity legislation announced for federally regulated employers
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tauna Staniland, Andrea Shakespeare, Kimberly Bungay and Alycia Novacefski The federal government has introduced new record keeping requirements for private, federally formed corporations governed by the Canada Business Corporations Act (“CBCA”). The amendments to the…Read More
Health Group, Christopher Goodridge and Matthew Jacobs The Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed in a decision released on May 15, 2019 that doctors must provide an ‘effective referral’ where they are unwilling to provide care on…Read More
Level Chan and Dante Manna The Province of Nova Scotia is soliciting stakeholder input on significant regulatory changes to the Pension Benefits Act (“PBA”) and Pension Benefits Regulations (“PBR”). The solicitation is accompanied by a…Read More
Kevin Landry Health Canada has announced changes to the cannabis licensing regime. These changes come ahead of the release of the cannabis edibles, extracts, and topicals amendments to the Cannabis Regulations expected to be released…Read More
Grant Machum Last week’s Nova Scotia Court of Appeal’s decision in Halifax Herald Limited v. Clarke, 2019 NSCA 31, is good news for employers. The Court overturned the trial judge’s determinations that an employee had…Read More
Rick Dunlop On April 24, 2019, the Nova Scotia Government created the Trade Union Act General Regulations so that the Labour Board will no longer consider a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday as the date of…Read More
Rodney Zdebiak and Anthony Granville On Monday, April 15, 2019, the Newfoundland and Labrador legislature passed a number of changes to the Automobile Insurance Act (“Act”) stating that the intent is to help stabilize insurance rates,…Read More
Grant Machum and Richard Jordan Employers carefully safeguard customer or client lists as confidential information. Gone are the days, however, where an employer’s customer list is only found in a Rolodex or in a closed…Read More
Level Chan and Dante Manna On March 12, 2019, the Nova Scotia legislature introduced long anticipated amendments to the Pension Benefits Act (“PBA”) which, according to a statement by Finance Minister Karen Casey, are aimed…Read More