New Brunswick asks employers to close the gender pay gap

No legislation for now, but government won't rule it out if voluntary plan doesn't work


New Brunswick businesses are being asked by the province to voluntarily reduce the wage gap between men and women.

Margaret-Ann Blaney, minister for the Status of Women, said the roundtable looking into pay equity in the province felt working with businesses was the logical first step. But if the five-year voluntary plan doesn’t pan out, the government will look at a legislative solution.

“If they don’t work, if we find after the five-year period that there’s no measurable difference in the wage gap then we’ll have to look at legislative measures,” Blaney told the CBC.

She said one part of the five-year program will be to get the word out to employers about why closing the wage gap makes good business sense.

Some groups — including the Coalition for Pay Equity and the New Brunswick Federation of Labour — have said the voluntary plan won’t work and the government should bring in legislation to force employers to address the issue.

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