Pay Transparency is Back (Maybe)

As you will recall, the Pay Transparency Act, 2018 was passed by the previous Ontario government and was scheduled to come into effect on January 1, 2019. In fall 2018, the current administration postponed the effective date indefinitely, leading many to speculate that the legislation would not come into force.

However, we may yet see pay transparency legislation in Ontario. In February 2019, the Ministry of Labour opened public consultations concerning the reporting requirements of the Pay Transparency Act. These consultations closed on April 5, 2019.

As a reminder, the Pay Transparency Act includes the following key concepts:

Employers will not be allowed to ask for compensation history from a job applicant or through an agent.

Employers will be required to include the expected compensation or range for a position in all publicly advertised job postings.

Reprisals by employers will be prohibited against employees who disclose, inquire about or discuss compensation.

Employers with 100 or more employees would be required (this would be phased in over time) to submit and post a pay transparency report annually, which includes information about the employer’s workforce and differences in compensation between male and female employees.

The consultation paper asks for submissions on the following issues:

Because hourly wage gaps alone would not capture all aspects of compensation differences between males and females, what additional wage gap calculation should be required in order to create a more accurate picture – for example, bonuses, overtime pay, commissions?

What reporting period do employers prefer to use to calculate average and median hourly gender wage gaps – for example, calendar year, a prescribed period such as a pay period or specific week, fiscal year, etc.?

Do employers with 100 or more employees currently have all the information they would need to calculate the organization’s median and hourly gender wage gaps for a specified period?

How much do employers with 100 or more employees estimate the cost of pay transparency reporting will be with respect to IT and software costs, personnel costs and other costs?

How many hours do employers with 100 or more employees anticipate that pay transparency reporting will take in total?

We will update our readers once the government issues the results of the consultation process.

Anneli LeGault

About Anneli LeGault

Anneli LeGault practises employment and labour law from Dentons’ Toronto office. Her practice focuses on human resources policy issues, including employment agreements, human rights, pay equity, employment equity, reorganizations, outsourcing, secondments and terms and conditions of employment.

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