Summary of PSECA Web Consultation Feedback

The Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act (PSECA) was enacted by Parliament on . It is human rights legislation that affirms that women in the federal public sector should receive equal pay for work of equal value. PSECA will come into force after the regulations have been approved by the Governor in Council.

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat is responsible for leading the development of the regulations. In 2012, the Treasury Board Secretariat developed a consultation document respecting the proposed policy directions for the regulations. As part of a larger consultation strategy and in order to ensure that federal public sector employees and other stakeholders have a meaningful opportunity to provide input on the policy directions for the regulations, the Treasury Board Secretariat consulted with them, through an online consultation conducted between and . We heard from individuals from across Canada, almost all of whom were federal public sector employees (please see the annex for additional information on participant demographics). The input received, which is summarized below, will be taken into consideration in finalizing the policy directions.

Overall Support for Proposed Policy Directions

The consultation invited stakeholder feedback on the eleven key areas of the policy directions, as follows:

  • job group definition
  • determination of female predominant job groups
  • statement of gender composition and data sharing
  • comparators
  • manner of conducting an equitable compensation assessment
  • assessment of skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions
  • consideration of recruitment and retention
  • compensation calculations
  • prescribed factors
  • reporting to employees
  • employee recourse

The majority of respondents either somewhat agreed or strongly agreed with all the proposals except in two of the key policy areas. In those two areas—relating to comparators and prescribed factors—many more respondents agreed than disagreed with the proposed policy directions.

Summary of Input Received

A total of 168 individuals completed the online questionnaire. A wide variety of feedback on the proposed policy directions was received. We received many positive comments supporting the proposed policy directions. In addition, several respondents raised concerns they had in relation to specific issues. The overall response to the questions is shown in the pie charts. The text beside the charts summarizes the key comments received from some of the respondents.

Question
Do you agree or disagree with the definitions of job group for the various parts of the federal public sector?

Some respondents commented that the approach was fair and flexible. A few respondents had concerns with the proposed job group definitions as they might be too broad or generic.

Figure 01: Chart 1
This pie chart illustrates the percentage of respondents agreeing or disagreeing with the definitions of job group for the various parts of the federal public sector. Text version below:
Figure 01 - Text version

This pie chart illustrates the percentage of respondents agreeing or disagreeing with the definitions of job group for the various parts of the federal public sector. Of the respondents, 18.45 percent strongly agreed, 36.31 percent somewhat agreed, 14.29 percent neither agreed nor disagreed, 12.50 percent somewhat disagreed, 7.14 percent strongly disagreed and 11.31 percent didn't know or were not sure.

Question
Do you agree or disagree with the policy directions on how to determine the existence of a female predominant job group for non-unionized and unionized employees?

A few respondents raised issues regarding the timing and frequency for undertaking the first and subsequent determinations of female predominance in job groups. It was suggested that the first determination should be done sooner after coming into force rather than waiting two years after coming into force, and subsequent assessments should be done more frequently rather than at the proposed five year maximum period. Others found the proposed approach clear and sensible.

Figure 02: Chart 2
This pie chart illustrates the percentage of respondents agreeing or disagreeing with the policy directions on how to determine the existence of a female predominant job group for non-unionized and unionized employees. Text version below:
Figure 02 - Text version

This pie chart illustrates the percentage of respondents agreeing or disagreeing with the policy directions on how to determine the existence of a female predominant job group for non-unionized and unionized employees. Of the respondents, 16.67 percent strongly agreed, 34.52 percent somewhat agreed, 15.48 percent neither agreed nor disagreed, 8.33 percent somewhat disagreed, 11.31 percent strongly disagreed and 13.69 percent didn't know or were not sure.

Question
Do you agree or disagree with the policy directions on the statement of gender composition and on sharing data and information with bargaining agents?

Several respondents provided comments agreeing with the proposed policy directions. They underlined the importance of employers sharing data and information with bargaining agents, so that equitable compensation can be dealt with proactively by both parties in collective bargaining.

Figure 03: Chart 3
This pie chart illustrates the percentage of respondents agreeing or disagreeing with the policy directions on the statement of gender composition and on sharing data and information with bargaining agents. Text version below:
Figure 03 - Text version

This pie chart illustrates the percentage of respondents agreeing or disagreeing with the policy directions on the statement of gender composition and on sharing data and information with bargaining agents. Of the respondents, 22.02 percent strongly agreed, 33.33 percent somewhat agreed, 20.83 percent neither agreed nor disagreed, 4.17 percent somewhat disagreed, 8.93 percent strongly disagreed and 10.71 percent didn't know or were not sure.

Question
Do you agree or disagree on the policy directions for comparators?

A few respondents commented that the proposed comparator threshold is fair and reasonable. A smaller number indicated that the proposed threshold for comparators is too low and that choosing the lowest-compensated comparator for the equitable compensation assessment will not support good policy outcomes.

Figure 04: Chart 4
This pie chart illustrates the percentage of respondents agreeing or disagreeing with the policy directions for comparators. Text version below:
Figure 04 - Text version

This pie chart illustrates the percentage of respondents agreeing or disagreeing with the policy directions for comparators. Of the respondents, 19.05 percent strongly agreed, 25.60 percent somewhat agreed, 22.02 percent neither agreed nor disagreed, 4.76 percent somewhat disagreed, 7.14 percent strongly disagreed and 21.43 percent didn't know or were not sure.

Question
Do you agree or disagree with the policy directions on the manner of conducting an equitable compensation assessment?

Comments were quite varied. A few respondents shared the view that level-by-level assessments made sense and could bring greater clarity to an equitable compensation assessment.

Figure 05: Chart 5
This pie chart illustrates the percentage of respondents agreeing or disagreeing with the policy directions on the manner of conducting an equitable compensation assessment. Text version below:
Figure 05 - Text version

This pie chart illustrates the percentage of respondents agreeing or disagreeing with the policy directions on the manner of conducting an equitable compensation assessment. Of the respondents, 25.00 percent strongly agreed, 31.55 percent somewhat agreed, 17.86 percent neither agreed nor disagreed, 5.95 percent somewhat disagreed, 5.95 percent strongly disagreed and 13.69 percent didn't know or were not sure.

Question
Do you agree or disagree with the policy directions regarding the skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions as they apply in determining the value of work?

This area of the proposed policy directions received the highest level of overall support from respondents. However, there were two main concerns that were raised by a handful of respondents: subjectivity and bias could be introduced into the determination of the value of work, and extra-duty service should be part of the assessment as a working condition. On the other hand, other respondents took quite the opposite view: they felt that the proposed criteria were objective and that the exclusion of extra-duty service was appropriate.

Figure 06: Chart 6
This pie chart illustrates the percentage of respondents agreeing or disagreeing with the policy directions regarding the skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions as they apply in determining the value of work. Text version below:
Figure 06 - Text version

This pie chart illustrates the percentage of respondents agreeing or disagreeing with the policy directions regarding the skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions as they apply in determining the value of work. Of the respondents, 32.14 percent strongly agreed, 32.74 percent somewhat agreed, 10.71 percent neither agreed nor disagreed, 8.33 percent somewhat disagreed, 7.74 percent strongly disagreed and 8.33 percent didn't know or were not sure.

Question
Do you agree or disagree with the policy directions regarding the employer's recruitment and retention needs as they apply in determining the value of work?

A wide variety of comments was received on this question. A few respondents indicated that the employer's assessment of recruitment and retention needs should be controlled to avoid importing potential gender-based compensation discrimination that may exist in labour markets. On the other hand, this area of the proposed policy directions received the second-highest level of overall support.

Figure 07: Chart 7
This pie chart illustrates the percentage of respondents agreeing or disagreeing with the policy directions regarding the employer's recruitment and retention needs as they apply in determining the value of work. Text version below:
Figure 07 - Text version

This pie chart illustrates the percentage of respondents agreeing or disagreeing with the policy directions regarding the employer's recruitment and retention needs as they apply in determining the value of work. Of the respondents, 24.40 percent strongly agreed, 34.52 percent somewhat agreed, 11.31 percent neither agreed nor disagreed, 10.12 percent somewhat disagreed, 8.33 percent strongly disagreed and 11.31 percent didn't know or were not sure.

Question
Do you agree or disagree with the policy directions on compensation calculations?

A wide variety of comments was received, ranging from a proposal to consider historical compensation inequalities through to a comment on the importance of considering all forms of compensation (total compensation). Many comments touched on issues beyond the scope of the proposed policy directions.

Figure 08: Chart 8
This pie chart illustrates the percentage of respondents agreeing or disagreeing with the policy directions on compensation calculations. Text version below:
Figure 08 - Text version

This pie chart illustrates the percentage of respondents agreeing or disagreeing with the policy directions on compensation calculations. Of the respondents, 19.64 percent strongly agreed, 35.71 percent somewhat agreed, 19.05 percent neither agreed nor disagreed, 7.74 percent somewhat disagreed, 5.95 percent strongly disagreed and 11.90 percent didn't know or were not sure.

Question
Do you agree or disagree with the policy directions on prescribed factors?

Few comments were received, and those that were varied widely. One respondent indicated that there are too many prescribed factors, which creates a bias in favour of employers. Others commented that the proposed prescribed factors are reasonable and better-defined than they have been in the past (under the Equal Wages Guidelines, 1986).

Figure 09: Chart 9
This pie chart illustrates the percentage of respondents agreeing or disagreeing with the policy directions on prescribed factors. Text version below:
Figure 09 - Text version

This pie chart illustrates the percentage of respondents agreeing or disagreeing with the policy directions on prescribed factors. Of the respondents, 14.88 percent strongly agreed, 28.57 percent somewhat agreed, 22.62 percent neither agreed nor disagreed, 4.76 percent somewhat disagreed, 5.36 percent strongly disagreed and 23.81 percent didn't know or were not sure.

Question
Do you agree or disagree with the policy directions on reporting to employees?

Several respondents focused on the importance of transparency and ensuring employees have timely access to information, including clear explanations of how equitable compensation assessments were done. Others indicated the proposed process is open and fair and that the policy is clear and precise.

Figure 10: Chart 10
This pie chart illustrates the percentage of respondents agreeing or disagreeing with the policy directions on reporting to employees. Text version below:
Figure 10 - Text version

This pie chart illustrates the percentage of respondents agreeing or disagreeing with the policy directions on reporting to employees. Of the respondents, 27.98 percent strongly agreed, 29.76 percent somewhat agreed, 19.05 percent neither agreed nor disagreed, 3.57 percent somewhat disagreed, 5.36 percent strongly disagreed and 14.29 percent didn't know or were not sure.

Question
Do you agree or disagree with the policy directions on employee recourse?

A few respondents expressed concern that employees might feel threatened or fear reprisals if they make a complaint about inequitable compensation. Other respondents focused on the fact that employees have access to various avenues for recourse and that the proposed policy directions set out a clear process and reasonable timelines.

Many comments and suggestions received are not reflected in this summary, since they pertain to the Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act, general human resource practices, and general compensation policies and practices, all of which are outside the scope of these regulatory consultations.

Figure 11: Chart 11
This pie chart illustrates the percentage of respondents agreeing or disagreeing with the policy directions on employee recourse. Text version below:
Figure 11 - Text version

This pie chart illustrates the percentage of respondents agreeing or disagreeing with the policy directions on employee recourse. Of the respondents, 19.64 percent strongly agreed, 35.12 percent somewhat agreed, 14.88 percent neither agreed nor disagreed, 6.55 percent somewhat disagreed, 8.33 percent strongly disagreed and 15.48 percent didn't know or were not sure.

Conclusion and Next Steps

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat thanks those individuals who participated in the online consultations. All input received pertaining to the proposed policy directions for the development of the regulations will be considered before the policy directions are finalized.

The proposed regulations will be pre-published in Part I of the Canada Gazette, which will provide various interested groups and individuals, including public sector employees, a final opportunity to review and comment on them. Once the regulations have been approved by the Governor in Council in their final form, they will be published in Part II of the Canada Gazette.

For more information and updates, please visit the Treasury Board Secretariat’s Equitable Compensation website.

Annex

Demographics of Participants

The gender break-down of respondents was:

  • Female: 61.31%
  • Male: 38.69%

Individuals from the following departments and agencies participated in the online consultation:

  • Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
  • Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
  • Canada Border Services Agency
  • Canada Revenue Agency
  • Canada School of the Public Service
  • Canadian Dairy Commission
  • Canadian Forces, Staff of the Non-Public Funds
  • Canadian Heritage
  • Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat
  • Canadian International Development Agency
  • Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
  • Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission
  • Canadian Space Agency
  • Correctional Service Canada
  • Courts Administration Service
  • Department of Justice Canada
  • Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
  • Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Foreign Affairs and International Trade
  • Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
  • National Defence
  • Natural Resources Canada
  • Office of the Chief Electoral Officer
  • Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages
  • Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
  • Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada
  • Parole Board of Canada
  • Privy Council Office
  • Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Public Safety Canada
  • Registry of the Specific Claims Tribunal of Canada
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police External Review Committee
  • Security Intelligence Review Committee
  • Statistics Canada
  • Statistics Survey Operations
  • Transport Canada
  • Transportation Safety Board of Canada
  • Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
  • Veterans Affairs Canada

Respondents came from the following provinces and territories:

  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Nova Scotia
  • New Brunswick
  • Quebec
  • Ontario
  • Manitoba
  • Saskatchewan
  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Northwest Territories
  • Other – any location outside of Canada
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: