Ontario introduces pay transparency legislation in Ontario

What does it mean for employers?

Ontario introduces pay transparency legislation in Ontario
The Ontario Legislature at Queen's Park in Toronto, May 11, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Bill 3, the Pay Transparency Act, 2018, passed Third Reading in the Ontario Legislature on April 26, 2018. The legislation will require an employer to disclose certain compensation information about, and to, employees and prospective employees, and restrict the information an employer may solicit during the hiring process. The Pay Transparency Act, 2018, comes into force on Jan. 1, 2019. Accordingly, employers (particularly those with more than 100 employees) should prepare now.

New obligations under the act

  • An employer may no longer request compensation history information from an applicant. However, an applicant may voluntarily disclose compensation history and an employer may consider or rely on the information.
  • Every publicly advertised job posting must include the expected compensation or range of expected compensation.
  • Every employer with 100 or more employees (and any 'prescribed' employer) is required to file a pay transparency report by May 15 of each year. The information to be filed includes a breakdown of the employer's workforce compensation including differences with respect to gender and other prescribed diversity characteristics. The report must also be posted online or in at least one conspicuous place in the workplace. An employer with 250 or more employees must file its first report by May 15, 2020. An employer with 100 or more employees must file its first report by May 15, 2021. All reports will be made publicly available by the Ministry. Further details regarding the information to be filed will be set out in regulations not yet enacted.
  • An employer may not penalize an employee for seeking and/or sharing compensation information.

Sherrard Kuzz is a management-side employment and labour law firm in Toronto. It can be reached at (416) 603-0700 (Main), (416) 420-0738 (24 hours) or by visiting www.sherrardkuzz.com. This information contained in this article is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice, nor does accessing this information create a lawyer-client relationship.

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