Government of Canada moves forward on pay equity to help address wage gaps in federally regulated workplaces
November 13, 2020 Gatineau, Quebec Employment and Social Development Canada
Everyone deserves an equal opportunity to succeed and to receive equal pay for work of equal value. Canadians have experienced a gender wage gap for far too long. The Government of Canada has been working hard to close that gap. This is a key part of the economic recovery plan as Canada builds back better.
Today, the Minister of Labour, Filomena Tassi, announced that the Government of Canada has reached an important milestone: the proposed Pay Equity Regulations are now available in the Canada Gazette, Part I. The Pay Equity Regulations will support the implementation of the Pay Equity Act, which will help ensure that, on average, women and men in federally regulated public and private sector workplaces receive equal pay for work of equal value.
The Government is providing an extended comment period of 60 days (until January 13, 2021), to ensure that all interested parties can review the proposed regulations. Following this consultation period, the regulations will be finalized and published in the Canada Gazette, Part II. The Government will look to a potential coming into force date of the Pay Equity Act and the accompanying regulations later in 2021. Once in force, employers will have three years to develop and implement their proactive pay equity plans.
These new measures are in addition to other important changes the Government is moving forward with, such as new pay transparency requirements, workplace harassment and violence prevention regulations, and a new administrative monetary penalties regime that will help improve compliance with the Canada Labour Code. Together, these efforts will help create federally regulated workplaces where workers feel safe, valued, included and secure. This will enable workers to do their best work, which will benefit employers, the economy and all Canadians.
“Everyone deserves an equal opportunity to succeed and to receive equal pay for work of equal value. Canadian women have experienced a gender wage gap for far too long. This is why our government is committed to addressing and breaking down the barriers to gender equality in employment. I strongly encourage all interested parties to review and provide input on the proposed regulations for the Pay Equity Act. The feedback we receive will be invaluable as we bring this important piece of legislation into force.”
– Minister of Labour, Filomena Tassi
“At its core, pay equity is about valuing women’s work. This is why our government will work with all willing partners to ensure that women are fairly compensated for their work. The input provided during stakeholder consultations will enable us to move forward together and ensure that Canadian workplaces meet today’s expectations of fairness. The pandemic has shown us just how essential women’s work is. The pandemic has also impacted women the greatest. We are in danger of losing women from the workforce, and losing decades of hard-won gains. The only path to a full economic recovery is ensuring that women are working, that they are safe and that their loved ones are cared for.”
– Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, Maryam Monsef
“While Canada continues to deal with the impacts of the pandemic, our government continues to work toward economic recovery. Closing the gender wage gap will remain a priority as part of this recovery. When workers can count on equal pay for work of equal value, our economy grows stronger, families prosper and communities thrive.”
– President of the Treasury Board, Jean-Yves Duclos
The Pay Equity Act was introduced as part of Bill C-86, the Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2. It received Royal Assent in December 2018. Once in force, the Pay Equity Act and supporting regulations will ensure that women and men in federally regulated workplaces, including the federal public and private sectors, parliamentary workplaces and the Prime Minister’s and Ministers’ offices, receive equal pay for work of equal value.
Based on the most recent data, in Canada, for every dollar earned by a man, a woman earned 89 cents as measured in hourly wages for full-time workers. The gender wage gap leaves women at a disadvantage, making it harder to pay bills or have savings for unexpected emergencies.
In April 2017, roundtable discussions were held with employer, employee and advocacy stakeholders on designing a proactive pay equity system in federally regulated workplaces. A discussion paper that identified issues and questions was circulated in advance. More than 40 stakeholders provided feedback. The Government also took into consideration the experiences from Ontario and Quebec, as well as the work of the Special Committee on Pay Equity and the final report of the Pay Equity Task Force, Pay Equity: A New Approach to a Fundamental Right, also known as the Bilson Report.
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- Forward Regulatory Plan: 2020 to 2022
- Government of Canada marks the first International Equal Pay Day and reappoints Canada’s Pay Equity Commissioner
- Government of Canada introduces historic proactive pay equity legislation
- Government of Canada publishes new regulations to prevent harassment and violence in federal workplaces
For media enquiries, please contact:
Office of the Minister of Labour, Filomena Tassi
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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