The new ‘equal pay for equal work’ provisions in Ontario

Rules have potential to significantly impact how employers structure, pay workforce
By Lisa Bolton and Gerald Griffiths
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/31/2018

Bill 148 introduced significant amendments to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA). One of the most dramatic is the introduction of the “equal pay for equal work” provisions. Prior to Bill 148, the ESA did not require an employer to compensate a part-time, temporary, casual or contract employee the same as a full-time employee doing substantially similar work. Bill 148 changed all of that.

Effective April 1, 2018, section 42.1 of the ESA now provides that no employer shall pay an employee at a rate of pay less than the rate paid to another employee of the employer because of a difference in employment status when:

•  they perform substantially the same kind of work in the same establishment;
•  their performance requires substantially the same skill, effort and responsibility; and
•  their work is performed under similar working conditions