THEREFORE, YOUR PETITIONERS call upon the House of Commons to enact legislation and policies that will promote pay equality and pay equity, and that women in Canada get the equal treatment they deserve.
The Government believes strongly in equal pay for work of equal value and the fair treatment of all workers in the workplace, regardless of gender. That is why the Government committed to move beyond the current complaints-based approach to pay equity.
The Pay Equity Act received Royal Assent on December 13, 2018. The new legislation will bring about a dramatic shift in how the right to pay equity is protected in federally regulated workplaces. It will direct employers to take proactive steps to ensure that they are providing equal pay for work of equal value. Proactive pay equity is expected to reduce the portion of the gender wage gap attributable to the undervaluation of work that has traditionally been seen as women’s work. It is particularly likely to benefit women who are also part of other vulnerable groups, such as racialized women, Indigenous women and women with disabilities.
Over the next while, the government will continue its work to get the key pieces ready for the coming into force of the Act. This work includes developing regulations that are necessary for the Act to be functional and producing guidance materials to assist workplace parties. In addition, Ms. Karen Jensen was appointed as a full-time member of the Canadian Human Rights Commission effective October 16, 2019, and Pay Equity Commissioner effective the day the legislation comes into force.
Proactive pay equity legislation is an important tool among a broad array of policy tools aimed at reducing the gender wage gap. The Government of Canada is also maintaining its commitment to addressing wage gaps through the introduction of pay transparency measures.
Pay transparency has been adopted internationally as a means towards reducing wage gaps. It will provide Canadians with accessible, comparable online information on federally regulated employers to raise awareness of wage gaps that affect women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities.
Budget 2018 committed $3 million over five years, starting in 2018-19, to initiate pay transparency measures for federally regulated employers. Budget 2019 introduced changes to the way salary information can be collected and reported through a technical amendment to the Employment Equity Act; and, proposed amendments to the Employment Equity Regulations were published in Canada Gazette Part 1, in August 2019.
Pay transparency will prompt employers to examine their human resource practices and show leadership in reducing wage gaps, helping to shift business culture and expectations towards greater equality.
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