Equi’Vision: An Employment Equity Tool
Federally regulated private-sector employers subject to the Employment Equity Act report employment equity information each year. This includes representation data and pay gap information on:
- Indigenous peoples
- persons with disabilities, and
- members of visible minorities
These employers fall under the Legislated Employment Equity Program administered by the Labour Program.
Equi’Vision provides easily comparable data on representation rates and pay gaps of the 4 designated groups:
- Indigenous peoplesFootnote 1
- persons with disabilities, and
- members of visible minorities
You can search for data by:
- sector, and
The data is available in the form of percentagesFootnote 2 for:
- the overall workforce
- each employment status
- each Employment Equity Occupational Group
You can view the following data for each of the 4 designated groups:
- representation rates
- mean and median hourly wage gaps
- mean and median bonus pay gaps
- mean and median overtime pay gaps
- mean and median overtime hours worked gaps
- proportions of employees receiving bonus pay, and
- proportions of employees receiving overtime pay
Goal of Equi’Vision
The goal is to use the gaps identified by employers to uncover and address potential barriers in the workplace. These barriers might be affecting members of the 4 designated groups under the Employment Equity Act.
This data may reveal specific patterns regarding employees from designated groups, such as:
- hourly wage gaps
- bonus pay gaps, and
- overtime pay gaps
These pay gaps may be the result of employment barriers for employees from designated groups. These pay gaps can be caused by employment policies and practices, including:
- the hiring process
- the negotiation of starting salaries, and
- the promotion process
We can use Equi’Vision as a diagnostic tool for employment equity. It relies on representation rates and pay gap data to identify employment barriers for the 4 designated groups. This allows employers to:
- implement measures in their workplace to remove the barriers, and
- reduce their representation or pay gaps
Most organizations will have some pay gaps and the reasons for this can vary. Representation or pay gaps may not be caused by current employment barriers. Previous barriers that have been eliminated could have been the cause, but the results may not be noticeable until more time has passed. Gaps might also be related to the type of occupations within organizations. They could also be due to the availability of members of designated groups in the labour market.
Why there’s a need to publish pay gap data for employers
The Employment Equity Act: Annual Reports demonstrate that although progress has been made for the 4 designated groups over time, there is still a need to address existing gaps in representation. This is the case in certain occupational categories, and in some regions of Canada. Further, despite narrowing educational and work experience gaps, pay gaps persist among workers in Canada.
Publishing employer information provides a better understanding of the unique workplace issues and experiences of employees. It also supports employers in addressing barriers that may underlie their gaps.
As of January 1, 2021, employers under the Legislated Employment Equity Program (LEEP) must:
- record new salary data, and
- include pay gap information in their annual reporting on employment equity
To learn more about the LEEP reporting requirements for employers (including pay gap reporting), refer to Legislated Employment Equity Program.
A pay gap is the difference between what 2 groups earn. A percentage shows the difference by which one group earns less than the other. The difference between what men and women earn is the gender pay gap. Other pay gaps also affect members of the 4 designated groups:
- hourly wage gaps
- bonus pay gaps
- overtime pay gaps, and
- overtime hours gaps
- a positive percentage figure (more than zero) and a dollar figure smaller than $1.00 reveal that designated group employees receive lower hourly wages, bonus pay or overtime pay than non-designated group employees
- a zero percentage figure (equal to zero) and a dollar figure equal to $1.00 reveal no gap between the hourly wages, bonus pay or overtime pay of designated group employees and non-designated group employees
- a negative percentage figure (less than zero) and a dollar figure larger than $1.00 reveal that designated group employees receive higher hourly wages, bonus pay or overtime pay than non-designated group employees
Mean and median pay gaps
Pay gap information reported are of 2 types:
- Mean pay gaps measure salary differences by comparing average salaries of groups. It takes into account both the amounts paid and the number of employees paid in these groups
- Median pay gaps measure salary differences by comparing salaries of employees in the middle of the salary distribution of their group
For more detail, visit pay gap information.
The use of these 2 different types of pay gaps is helpful to give a more balanced overview of an employer’s overall pay gaps.
Mean pay gaps
Mean pay gaps are useful because means are a common method for determining a central tendency in a group. This is a good overall indicator of pay gaps. For example, mean bonus pay gaps can be useful when employees of both groups compared in an organisation receive a bonus according to a similar distribution. With this method, very large or small values can distort the final result. In some cases, 1 or 2 employees among designated group members might receive exceptionally high bonus pay. If that were to happen, the bonus pay gap may appear smaller than it actually is. This would make the mean bonus pay gap less useful on its own.
Median pay gaps
Median pay gaps are useful to show what the ‘typical’ situation is (that is, in the middle of the distribution). They can be useful when the hourly wages of employees of both groups is similar across the distribution. While they are not as distorted by very large or small values, the median pay gaps may not highlight all pay gap issues. For example, if the employees that are paid the least amount among designated group members are paid much less than employees that are paid the least amount among non-designated group members, the hourly wage gap may appear smaller than it actually is. This would make the median hourly wage gap less useful on its own.
Reporting pay gap information
Private-sector employers subject to the Employment Equity Act are reporting information on hourly wage gaps, bonus pay gaps, overtime pay gaps and overtime hours gaps. Pay gap information is reported for the employer’s overall workforce, as well as for occupational groups, employment status, sectors, and locations.
Hourly wage gaps
An hourly wage is pay for one hour of work. Calculating hourly wage gaps allows for salary comparison between employees. The hourly wage calculation excludes bonus pay and overtime pay. Hourly wages are used rather than weekly or annual earnings so that the results reflect salary differences that are not due to different numbers of hours worked. For example, we can compare wages of full-time and part-time workers without the number of hours worked affecting the comparison. This provides opportunity to examine the factors contributing to salary differences separately from the factors contributing to differences in hours worked.
Go to hourly wage gaps for more information.
Bonus pay gap information
Bonus pay gap information reported includes:
- gaps in mean and median annual amounts of bonus pay of employees who received bonus pay during the reporting year, and
- proportions of employees who received bonus pay during the reporting year
Go to bonus pay gaps for more information.
Overtime pay and hours gap information
Overtime pay gap information reported includes:
- gaps in mean and median annual amounts of overtime pay among employees who received pay for overtime worked during the reporting year, and
- proportions of employees who received overtime pay during the reporting year
Overtime hours gap information reported includes:
- gaps in the mean and median annual numbers of overtime hours worked among employees who received overtime pay during the reporting year
Go to overtime pay gaps for more information.
Representation rate is the share of designated group members in a given workforce. It is obtained by collecting workforce information to determine the number of employees who are members of designated groups. The representation rate is expressed as a percentage. For example, in 2021, 39.3% of employees in the private sector subject to the Employment Equity Act were women.
Labour market availability (LMA)
LMA refers to the share of designated group members in the workforce from which the employers could hire. Statistics Canada data is used to determine LMA. It is expressed as a percentage. For example, in 2016, 24.8% of the workforce available for hire in the Communications sector were members of visible minorities.
Attainment rate refers to the extent to which representation of designated groups in the employer’s workforce approaches, meets or exceeds their LMA. Dividing the representation rate by the LMA produces the attainment rate. This result is then expressed as a percentage. For example, in 2021, private-sector employers subject to the Employment Equity Act employed Indigenous peoples at a rate that is 60% of the rate at which they were available in the labour market.
How do employers know who is a member of a designated group
To identify women in the workforce, employers may use the information provided by employees for HR or payroll purposes.
To determine whether employees are Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities or members of visible minorities, employers must use a questionnaire. It must allow employees to self-identify as belonging to one of those designated groups. The questionnaire must contain:
- definitions for the 3 designated groups from the Employment Equity Act, and
- a statement that employees can self-identify as a member of 1 (or many) of these groups. The statement must be clear that employees are not required to self-identify. It is voluntary
Purpose of representation data and content of representation reporting
Employers must use their representation data to:
- review their representation gaps
- determine if employment barriers are present
- take measures to remove barriers and close the gaps
Under the Employment Equity Act, employer representation reports consist of statistical forms on the number of employees and designated group members by:
- occupational group
- salary range
- employment status (for example—permanent full-time, permanent part-time and temporary)
- promotions, and
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