Equal pay for work of equal value

Pay equity reform

The right to gender equality and to be free from gender-based discrimination is guaranteed by section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Canada signed the International Labour Organization’s Convention 100, the Equal Remuneration Convention, which aims to ensure equal remuneration for work of equal value regardless of gender.

Pay equity is a human right protected under the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA). Section 11 of the CHRA stipulates that establishing or maintaining a difference in wages between male and female employees employed in the same establishment and performing work of equal value is a discriminatory practice. Employees or their bargaining agents may file complaints with the Canadian Human Rights Commission if they believe that their right to pay equity has been violated.

In , in the House of Commons, the Government signaled its intention to develop a new direction for pay equity that deals with the issue in a balanced and responsible way.

A Special Committee on Pay Equity was formed on , with a mandate to conduct hearings on the matter of pay equity and to propose a plan to adopt a proactive federal pay equity regime, both legislative and otherwise. On , the Special Committee tabled its report titled It’s Time to Act. The Government of Canada responded on , reaffirming its commitment to develop proactive pay equity reform.

The Government introduced the Pay Equity Act through Bill C-86, Budget Implementation Act, 2018, nº2, which was tabled in the House of Commons on October 29, 2018, and received Royal Assent on December 13, 2018.

Following the consultation period for the proposed Pay Equity Regulations (led by the Labour Program at Employment and Social Development Canada), the Government will look to a potential coming into force date for the Pay Equity Act and its enabling regulations later in 2021.

In the meantime, the pay equity provisions of the CHRA continue to apply to federally-regulated employers.

Key documents

Legislation and related organizations

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: