March 7, 2018
(TORONTO, ON) – Yesterday, the Ontario government introduced the Pay Transparency Act in an effort to close the gender wage gap.
Although all Ontario employers are required to deliver discrimination-free pay under the Pay Equity Act, the reality is that more than half of employers have created and perpetuated the gender pay gap. As a result, on average, Ontario women earn approximately 68 cents for every dollar that men earn. This gap is significantly more pronounced for Indigenous, racialized, and immigrant women as well as women with disabilities.
The Pay Transparency Act requires employers to disclose their wages to demonstrate whether they are complying with their existing legal obligations under Ontario’s Human Rights Code and the Pay Equity Act. Employers in the Ontario Public Service will first be required to adhere to the pay transparency obligations. Subsequently, following consultations, the obligation will then be extended to employers with more than 500 employees and finally, to those with more than 250 employees. It is important to note that businesses with fewer than 100 workers represent over 95 per cent of businesses in Ontario.
“While we welcome the introduction of the Pay Transparency Act, it simply does not go far enough for the working women of this province,” said Patty Coates, OFL Secretary-Treasurer. “The Ontario Federation of Labour calls on the government to introduce stronger legislation that closes the gender wage gap. Women in this province are done waiting. We demand meaningful change now.”
The OFL endorses the recommendations put forth by the Equal Pay Coalition to strengthen the Pay Transparency Act, including that it must:
- apply to all private and public sector employers with more than 10 employees to match the Pay Equity Act;
- apply to all government procurement so government contracts comply with equality rights;
- contain mandatory timelines to file annual transparency reports with the Ministry of Labour;
- require employers to deliver annual transparency reports to corporate shareholders;
- clearly set out what information must be in the transparency reports (e.g., compensation structure and wage grids by gender, job classification, and job status); and
- contain a clear purpose clause in the legislation.
The OFL represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For more information, visit www.ofl.ca and follow @OFLabour on Facebook and Twitter.
For more information, contact:
Meagan Perry, Director of Communications, Ontario Federation of Labour, 416-894-3456
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