Today marks an important day for the progress of equity for women in Canada. The final Pay Equity Regulations were included in today’s publication of the Canada Gazette (Part II). The Pay Equity Act and final regulations will come into force on August 31st, 2021.
Historically, women in Canada have not received equal pay for work of equal value. According to the 2017 McKinsey Women in the Workplace report, a woman in Canada earns 89 cents for every dollar a man earns. Long-standing gender inequities have been amplified over the course of the COVID‑19 pandemic, with women being disproportionately affected, and that is exactly why advancing pay equity has been a key part of our Liberal government’s plan to build back better, to create fairer workplaces for generations to come.
When Canadians can count on equal pay for work of equal value, our economy grows stronger.
Our government passed the Pay Equity Act in 2018 and appointed Canada’s first Pay Equity Commissioner, Karen Jensen, in 2019 to help develop the pay equity regulations and to educate about and enforce the regulations when they come into force.
The Pay Equity Act requires federally regulated employers with 10 or more employees to ensure that men and women are provided equal pay for work of equal value. In order to bring the Act into force, we have developed our final regulations to clarify obligations involving the posting of documents, time limits for applications and notices with the Pay Equity Commissioner, requirements for when predetermined values of work are used, the mathematical factors for comparing compensation, steps to follow when certain problems arise in the comparison of job classes, and requirements for the plan’s maintenance process.
The final regulations posted here.
Implementing proactive pay equity is just one part of our government plan to create workplaces that are more fair, safe, and inclusive. We brought in new pay transparency requirements and workplace harassment and violence prevention regulations and are working to make mental health a key part of Canada’s occupational health and safety regime. Together, these efforts will help create workplaces where workers are safe, included, and valued. That means they’re able to do their best work— and that’s good for employers, the economy, and all Canadians.