The Pay Equity Act came into force on August 31, 2021. This means that it is now law that federally regulated employers take proactive steps to correct gender wage gaps within their organization.
Women need support more than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic continued to amplify pre-existing gender inequities, especially for racialized women, Indigenous women, migrant women, women with low-income, single mothers, LGBTQ2SI+ women and women with disabilities or mental health issues.
With the Pay Equity Act now in force, employers and workplace parties have to begin work to close the gender wage gap. One of the first requirements under the Act was that employers post a notice on or before November 1, 2021, to inform their employees that a pay equity process is underway within their organization.
Engagement and Outreach
To help employers prepare for this important first step, the Commission provided technical briefings to workplace parties who fall under the Act. We also continued cultivating relationships with both Canadian and international stakeholders, raised awareness on pay equity issues and shared information about key requirements of the new law. This year's engagement and outreach included:
- holding regular meetings with our two consultative groups; the Tripartite Working Group and the Technical Advisory Group;
- participating in over 80 events to foster engagement and build support;
- engaging with over 7,000 stakeholders, including employer and labour associations, non-governmental organizations, Indigenous women's groups, and other key partners; and
- responding to close to 200 requests for information.
Tools and Resources
To help employers and employees get started, the Commission provided a variety of education materials and a series of tools and resources to help better understand pay equity and how to establish the foundation for a successful pay equity process. These tools and resources include:
The Commission also worked this year on preparing a pay equity toolkit for release in 2022. This toolkit is designed to support small to medium-sized federally regulated organizations with the development of a pay equity plan. It will include a Microsoft Excel tool, a user manual, a case study and a job evaluation guide.
An interactive Online Dispute Resolution Platform was also developed, and is currently being tested for deployment. This platform will allow federally regulated organizations to share information, request guidance, and resolve their disputes, with or without the help of Commission staff.