‘These pay transparency measures will help Canadian workplaces become more just, inclusive, diverse and, ultimately, more productive’
The federal government has published the final Regulations Amending the Employment Equity Regulations to introduce new pay transparency measures in federally regulated workplaces.
Canada is the first country to be making wage gap information for women, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities working in federally regulated workplaces publicly available, according to the government.
“These pay transparency measures will help Canadian workplaces become more just, inclusive, diverse and, ultimately, more productive.”
Under the revised law, employers will be required to include aggregated wage gap information in their annual reporting on employment equity. This information will be published in an annual report and through an online application currently in development.
This will provide comparable data on representation rates and designated group wage gaps by employer, and enable federally regulated employers to determine their employees’ hourly rate wage gaps, bonus pay gaps, overtime pay gaps, and overtime hours worked gaps, says the government.
Ottawa has also asked for feedback on Pay Equity Regulations, which will support the implementation of the revised Pay Equity Act. The consultations will run until Jan. 31, 2121.
The most significant issue that the regulatory amendments resolve pertains to the definition and calculation of “salary” for reporting purposes. Previously, the regulations defined salary in respect of a private sector employer as “remuneration paid for work performed by an employee in the form of salary, wages, commissions, tips, bonuses and piece rate payments, rounded to the nearest dollar, but does not include overtime wages.”
The definition has been changed “to allow for the submission of a series of data elements available through federally regulated private sector employers’ human resources (HR) and pay systems that can be used to determine an hourly rate of pay for the purposes of calculating wage gaps within the employer’s workforce,” says the government. “The data elements comprise salary, the period over which salary is paid, hours worked, bonus pay, overtime pay and overtime hours.”
In addition to the current list of records, employers are required to maintain the following:
- their salary, not including any bonus pay or overtime pay
- the period over which the salary was paid
- the number of hours worked that can be attributed to the salary earned
- the bonus pay paid during the reporting period
- the overtime pay in the reporting period
- the number of overtime hours worked to which the overtime pay can be attributed.
The legislative amendment to the Employment Equity Act and supporting regulations will come into force on Jan. 1, 2021. The following year (June 1, 2022), employers will be required to include aggregated wage gap information in their annual reporting on employment equity.
The first release of aggregated wage gap information will be available in the Employment Equity Act: Annual Report 2022 and through an online application.
To ease the transition for employers, the Workplace Equity Information Management System (WEIMS) will be updated well in advance of the June 1, 2022, reporting deadline.
“The Labour Program will support employers by providing detailed information and training tools to explain how to collect, calculate and submit their wage gap data using the online system,” says the government.
In addition to being published online, the Employment Equity Forms 2021 will be integrated to the WEIMS, where employer data will be automatically populated into the forms for verification by employers prior to being submitted to the Labour Program.