New resource on Pay Equity Act takes case law into account

For compensation specialists, unions, and legal professionals in Ontario

New resource on Pay Equity Act takes case law into account

The Pay Equity Office (PEO) is offering a new resource for compensation specialists, unions, and legal professionals to understand the pay equity law in Ontario better.

According to the release, the Selected Case Reference Guide is an annotated version of the Pay Equity Act with a curated selection of relevant tribunal and court case law presented alongside the relevant section of the Act. Each selection is presented as a short synopsis of the case’s precedent with a link to the source decision on www.CanLii.org.

“We are pleased to offer this valuable new resource to support pay equity practitioners in their understanding of the Pay Equity Act and relevant case law,” PEO commissioner and chief administrative officer Kadie Ward said. “This guide will serve as an efficient reference tool to support employers create their pay equity plans in accordance with the Act.”

Passed in 1988, Ontario’s Pay Equity Act was the first in the world to cover both public and private employers. It seeks to promote gender economic equality between men and women who do work with comparable value to the organization.

The Selected Case Reference Guide is the latest of the PEO’s initiatives to provide information to help employers and employees understand their rights and responsibilities under the Pay Equity Act. Those who fail to comply with these regulations are subject to a PEO investigation.

Since then, the gender wage gap in Ontario has narrowed eight percentage points since 1998 to 11 percent in 2021. On an hourly basis, women made 89 cents on average for every dollar earned by a man. However, the PEO also found that the gender pension gap still has a long way to go, with women receiving 18 percent less retirement income than men in 2020.

PEO said the guide is a living document and will be updated occasionally.

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