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A Canadian First: New Pay Transparency Legislation

March 6, 2018

A Canadian First: New Pay Transparency Legislation

The Ontario Government unveiled an initiative today – known as Then Now Next: Ontario’s Strategy for Women’s Economic Empowerment (the “Strategy”) – as part of the Government’s new strategy described as advancing women’s economic empowerment. Included in the Strategy is the introduction of standalone legislation to increase pay transparency by requiring certain employers to track and publish information about compensation in their organizations.
If passed, the legislation would:

  • Require all publicly advertised job postings to include a salary rate or range;
  • Bar employers from asking a job candidate about their past compensation;
  • Prohibit reprisals against employees who discuss or disclose compensation; and
  • Establish a framework to require larger employers to track and report compensation gaps based on gender and other diversity characteristics, to be determined through consultation. Once fully implemented, this measure would require employers to publicly post that data within their own workplaces, in addition to reporting such data to the province.

The pay transparency measures would have initial application to the Ontario Public Service. Following consultations, the proposed new rules would apply to employers with more than 500 employees, and would eventually extend to those employers with more than 250 employees.
Exactly which prescribed diversity characteristics – in addition to gender – employers would be required to record and report remains to be determined.
It is important to underscore that none of the changes have actually been passed into law, so it is not yet clear which changes will ultimately be adopted and implemented by the Government.
Given that the proposed legislation has only just been announced, please stay tuned for a more detailed review of some of the key recommended changes.  In the interim, if you have any questions about the potential implications of these proposed changes within your organization, or would like our assistance with participating in the consultation process, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer.

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