Pay Equity Act will come into force on August 31, 2021, in Canada

posted on July 18, 2021

By Employment and Social Development Canada | July 7, 2021

The implementation of the Pay Equity Act is an important part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to close the gender wage gap and ensure that workers receive equal pay for work of equal value. It will put into place long-term, sustainable changes that will ensure that women’s work is valued and compensated fairly, now and into the future. This is especially significant as the Government of Canada works to ensure an inclusive economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister of Labour Filomena Tassi announced in early July that the government will bring the Pay Equity Act into force on August 31, 2021, and that the final Pay Equity Regulations are now available in Part II of the Canada Gazette.

The Pay Equity Regulations will support the implementation of the Pay Equity Act, together ensuring that workers in federally regulated workplaces receive equal pay for work of equal value.

“Everyone deserves an equal opportunity to succeed—and that means paying women equally for work of equal value. Today’s announcement that the Pay Equity Act will be coming into force at the end of this summer is a significant step forward towards reducing the gender wage gap and creating the kinds of long-term, sustainable change that will enable all workers to succeed in our workplaces for generations to come. It is not just the right thing to do; it is the smart thing to do,”  said Minister Tassi.

Once in force, employers with 10 or more employees will have three years to develop and implement their proactive pay equity plans. The Pay Equity Commissioner will be responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Act and its Regulations and she will continue to work closely with federally regulated private- and public-sector workplace parties to provide support and guidance on the implementation of this proactive pay equity regime.

Long-standing gender inequities have only been amplified over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic and have put decades of hard-fought gains for women in the workplace at risk. Implementing proactive pay equity is in addition to other important changes the Government has made to create workplaces that are more fair, safe and inclusive, such as new pay transparency requirements and a strengthened federal framework that protects workers from harassment and violence. When hard-working Canadians can count on equal pay for work of equal value, our economy grows stronger.

“The Government of Canada is committed to pay equity and to setting the standard for gender equality in the workplace as we continue to work toward economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Simply put, when women prosper, we all succeed,” said President of the Treasury Board Jean-Yves Duclos

Pay Equity Commissioner Karen Jensen added: “The Pay Equity Act is essential to closing the gender wage gap, advancing gender equality and promoting workplaces where every employee is valued and engaged. Greater equity and inclusion in Canadian workplaces will make businesses and the economy stronger and more resilient.”

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