Government of Canada moves forward with pay transparency measures for greater equality in workplaces

New Delhi: Equality and inclusion in the workplace are an important part of building a strong middle class and giving all Canadians a real and fair chance at success.

This is why today, the Minister of Labour, Filomena Tassi, announced that the Government of Canada is addressing wage gaps in federally regulated workplaces by publishing the final Regulations Amending the Employment Equity Regulations to introduce new pay transparency measures.

Canada is the first country to be making wage gap information for women, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities working in federally regulated workplaces publicly available. Raising awareness of wage gaps in federally regulated workplaces gives employers the opportunity to show leadership in reducing them. Releasing data on wage gaps in our workplaces will help shift business culture and expectations toward greater equality and better outcomes for workers and their families.

The legislative amendment to the Employment Equity Act and supporting regulations will come into force on January 1, 2021. The following year (June 1, 2022), employers will be required to include aggregated wage gap information in their annual reporting on employment equity. The first release of aggregated wage gap information will be available in the Employment Equity Act: Annual Report 2022 and through an online application.

These new measures harmonize with other important changes the Government is making, such as implementing the Pay Equity Act, workplace harassment and violence prevention regulations, and a new Administrative Monetary Penalties regime. Together, these efforts will help create workplaces where workers feel safe, valued, included and secure. These are the conditions where workers will be able to do their best work, and that is good for employers, the economy and all Canadians.

Quotes
“We always need to look to the future. Today, we make meaningful and lasting change to help Canadian workers and workplaces get ahead and make Canada an even better place to work. These pay transparency measures will help Canadian workplaces become more just, inclusive, diverse, and ultimately more productive.”

– Minister of Labour, Filomena Tassi

Quick facts
These new measures apply to federally regulated, private sector employers with 100 or more employees covered by the Employment Equity Act and to approximately 428,215 employees who self-identify as a member of a designated group (source: Employment Equity Act: Annual Report 2019).

Employers are encouraged to reach out to the Labour Program at 1-800-641-4049 if they need assistance understanding the new reporting requirements.

The Employment Equity Act seeks to promote equality in the workplace so that no person is denied employment opportunities or benefits for reasons unrelated to ability and to eliminate barriers to employment faced by the four designated groups. Pursuant to the Act, employers are required to report on employment equity in their workplace to the Minister of Labour, who is required to table an annual report on the status of employment equity in the federally regulated private sector.

The Pay Equity Act was introduced as part of Bill C-86 (Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2). Once in force, the Act and supporting regulations will ensure that women and men in federally regulated workplaces receive equal pay for work of equal value. The proposed regulations were pre-published in Part I of the Canada Gazette on November 13, 2020, for stakeholder comment. The Government will look to a potential coming-into-force date for the Pay Equity Act later in 2021. Together, pay equity and pay transparency measures will help reduce the gender wage gap.

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