The Pay Equity Act
The Pay Equity Act was passed unanimously by the National Assembly of Quebec in 1996 and gave way to the creation of the Pay Equity Commission. Since then, employers are required to ensure pay equity in their businesses and meet the wage differentials arising from discrimination on grounds of sex for predominantly female jobs. In 2009, the Act was revised to help achieve the goals of pay equity. Depending on the number of employees that your business has, it is likely that you have to meet certain requirements within a deadline established by the Commission.
The Principle of Pay Equity
The principles of pay equity between men and women for jobs of equal value may seem simple at first, but the challenge comes when you must compare the various functions of the different positions. Instead of referring to "equal pay for equal work", let us refer to "equal pay for different but equivalent work." Pay equity is essentially the right of a person occupying a predominantly female position in a company to receive a salary equal to a person who holds a predominantly male position of equal value within the same company. For example, a secretary could be compared to a mechanic. Pay equity is achieved when the salaries of both male and female employees of equal value within the same company are equivalent.
Companies subject to the Pay Equity Act
All companies in the private, public and semi-public sector must comply with the Pay Equity Act.