Fact Sheet: The Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act
This Government respects the principle of equal pay for work of equal value—a fundamental right guaranteed under the Canadian Human Rights Act. In 2009, the Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act was enacted to address equal pay for work of equal value within the federal public sector in a more proactive and timely way. The new approach is:
- Employers are required to proactively ensure compensation is equitable, either through equitable compensation plans for non-unionized employees or with bargaining agents through the collective bargaining compensation-setting process for unionized employees.
- Issues are resolved as they arise within the collective bargaining process for unionized employees or through established compensation-setting processes for non-unionized employees instead of through lengthy legal proceedings.
- All employees will have access to the Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board, an independent and neutral third party, to settle complaints.
- Employers and bargaining agents are jointly accountable for ensuring equitable compensation.
The legislation applies to the Treasury Board of Canada as employer for departments and agencies listed in Schedules I and IV of the Financial Administration Act (FAA), separate agencies as employers for agencies listed in Schedule V of the FAA, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian Forces.
|Feature||Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA)||Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act (PSECA)|
|Legislation||CHRA (section 11)||PSECA|
|Objective||Equal pay for work of equal value||Equal pay for work of equal value|
|Accountability||Employer has the sole accountability.||Employer and union have joint accountability for unionized employees; employer has accountability for non-unionized employees.|
|Application||Applies to the federal public sector, including crown corporations and the federally regulated private sector.||Once in force, will apply to the Treasury Board of Canada as employer for the departments and agencies in Schedules I and IV of the FAA, separate agencies as listed in Schedule V of the FAA, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian Forces.|
|Proactivity||Complaint-based system.||Equitable compensation is addressed when wages are set. For unionized employees, this will be achieved through the collective bargaining process.|
|Timeliness||Pay adjustments after lengthy complaint and litigation processes, often years or decades later.||Equitable compensation is received immediately after wages are set.|
|Value of work||Value assessed on skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions.||Value assessed on skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions, along with the employer's recruitment and retention needs, taking into account the qualifications required to perform the work and the market forces operating in respect of employees with those qualifications.|
|Thresholds||Sets the female predominance threshold at 70% for groups with under 100 employees, 60% for groups between 100 and 500 employees, and 55% for groups of over 500 employees.||Sets the female predominance threshold at 70% for all job groups.|
|Recourse||Canadian Human Rights Commission addresses all complaints.||Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board will address complaints made by employees in the federal public sector.|
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