Pay Transparency helps close the gender pay gap by making employers prove they are complying with existing law to deliver discrimination-free pay.
All employers in Ontario have had a legal obligation to deliver discrimination-free pay since the 1960s. But employers continue to flout the law. The Pay Equity Office reports that 54% of employers have gender pay gaps contrary to the Pay Equity Act. And the government reports that the pay gap has not closed in thirty years.
Pay transparency legislation requires employers to disclose their wages to prove they are complying with their existing legal obligations under Ontario’s Human Rights Code and the Pay Equity Act.
On Tuesday March 6, 2018, the Ontario government introduced a new Pay Transparency Act (Bill 3) to help close the gender pay gap. Bill 3 needs eight key amendments to ensure the Act is a strong enforcement tool that can truly help close the gap.
The new Act’s transparency obligations will first apply to the Ontario Public Service. Following consultation, employers with more than 500 employees, and later to those with more than 250 employees. The Act does contain important anti-reprisal protections and new posting provisions requiring employers to advertise the salary range for a position and prohibit asking about prior salaries.
The Equal Pay Coalition is calling for significant amendments to strengthen the Act and bring it in line with employers’ existing legal obligations not to discriminate. The Act must be amended to:
- Extend the Act’s Application to all employers with 10 or more employees and the Province’s Vendors of Record.
- Include Full Transparency Reporting Obligations.
- Include mandatory timelines for filing Pay Transparency Reports.
- Include a strong Purpose Clause to guide interpretation of the rights.
- Ensure that Pay Transparency is enforced through the Pay Equity Office rather than the Labour Board.
- Include tough penalties for failure to comply.
- Strengthen workers’ protections against using compensation history to depress women’s wages.
- Include a Preamble tied to international human rights commitments.
Click here for our 8 Amendments to Bill 3 Pay Transparency Act to close the gender pay gap handout. Click here for an in depth analysis of the proposed Act and our recommendations by our Co-Chairs Fay Faraday and Jan Borowy.
Click here for our submission to The Standing Committee on Social Policy entitled Strengthening Human Rights Accountability: Pay Transparency to Close the Gender Pay Gap.
Email Premier Kathleen Wynne and Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn to, using our email template, and tell them to #ShowUsTheMoney and close the gender pay gap by passing strong pay transparency legislation.