Increasing pay transparency for federally regulated employers under Employment Equity Regulations
Brian G. Johnston, QC, Jennifer Thompson and Daniel Roth
The Government of Canada has announced the final Regulations Amending the Employment Equity Regulations (“Regulations”). The Regulations come into force on January 1, 2021 and will bring increased pay transparency to federally regulated workplaces. Federally regulated employers with 100 or more employees will be required to file annual employment equity reports with the Minister of Labour on or before June 1 each year, with the first report due by June 1, 2022 covering the 2021 reporting period. These reports will be used to compile aggregated wage gap information on women, Aboriginal people, persons with disabilities, and members of visible minorities.¹ This information will then be published for the first time in the Employment Equity Act: Annual Report 2022.
The existing version of the Regulations will continue to apply to employment equity reports for the 2020 reporting period. The amended Regulations in force as of January 1, 2021 will only apply to reports for the 2021 reporting period and onward.
The Regulations seek to simplify the definition and calculation of salary, no longer requiring employers to annualize salaries for the purposes of reporting. Rather, employers will be required to report more readily available information, including:
- salary, not including bonus pay or overtime pay;
- the period over which the salary was paid;
- the number of hours worked that can be attributed to the salary earned;
- the amount of any bonuses paid during the reporting period; and
- the amount of any overtime paid during the reporting period with the corresponding hours worked giving rise to that overtime pay.
The Regulations also provide definitions for overtime pay, overtime hours, and bonus pay, to help guide employers. Employers will be required to maintain and retain records to support their reporting. Employers must also retain information about each employee’s occupational unit group classifications and code under the North American Industrial Classification System.
The Regulations further prescribe that employers must use the definitions found in the Employment Equity Act (“Act”) for the purposes of self-identification in workplace questionnaires feeding into their reporting. The Act provides definitions of Aboriginal people, persons with disabilities, and members of visible minorities, who along with women, constitute the designated groups. Prior to the amended Regulations coming into force, employers were permitted to use their own definitions of designated groups insofar as they were “consistent” with the definitions in the Act. After the Regulations come into force, employers will all be required to use the prescribed definitions, seeking consistent comparison across the aggregated self-identification data.
Canada will be the first country in the world to make wage gap information with respect to women, Aboriginal people, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities working in federally regulated workplaces available to the public. In addition to the above pay transparency measures, the related Pay Equity Act is also expected to come into force sometime in 2021 following the conclusion of the federal government’s public consultation on the proposed Pay Equity Regulations. The public consultation on the Pay Equity Regulations will remain open until January 13, 2021.
The federal government will be updating the forms associated with filing the annual reports, and the Workplace Equity Information Management System will be updated in advance of the June 1, 2022 reporting deadline.
All federally regulated employers with more than 100 employees who have employment equity obligations should review their policies and procedures in light of these changes to ensure compliance for the 2021 reporting period.
¹ Note that this is the terminology utilized by the Employment Equity Act itself.
This article is provided for general information only. If you have any questions about the above, please contact a member of our Labour and Employment group.
Click here to subscribe to Stewart McKelvey Thought Leadership articles and updates.
By Kim Walsh and Olivia Bungay Canadian sanctions targeting Russia in relation to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine were significantly expanded over the past year. The Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations impose sanctions on individuals…Read More
Federal Government introduces amendments to expand the mandates of the two historic Atlantic Accord Acts to include offshore wind energy
David Randell, Sadira Jan, Robert Grant, K.C., Greg Moores, G. John Samms, and James Gamblin The recent tabling of federal legislation is an important step for offshore wind development in the offshore areas of Nova…Read More
Newfoundland and Labrador adopts virtual Alternate Witnessing of Documents Act – for good this time!
By Joe Thorne and Megan Kieley Background During the COVID-19 public health emergency order in Newfoundland and Labrador, the government passed the Temporary Alternate Witnessing of Documents Act, which (as the name implies) temporarily permitted…Read More
By Daniela Bassan, K.C. Daniela Bassan, K.C. is a Partner and Practice Group Chair at the law firm of Stewart McKelvey (Canada) where she focuses on intellectual property and complex, multi-jurisdictional dispute resolution. The premise…Read More
By Conor O’Neil and Maria Cummings On May 9, 2023, two bills were introduced in the New Brunswick Legislature that could have material affects on the construction industry. Bills 41 and 42, of the current…Read More
Author Sara Espinal Henao, an Immigration Lawyer in our Halifax office, will be speaking on a related panel, Labour Market Impact Assessments Overview and Current Trends, at the upcoming CBA Immigration Law Conference in Ottawa,…Read More
Author Brendan Sheridan, an Immigration Lawyer in our Halifax Office, will be running a related webinar on May 30, 2023, Avoiding immigration bloopers: A webinar for the film & television industry, in partnership with Screen…Read More
Whose information is it anyway? Implications of the York University decision on public and private sector privacy and confidentiality
Included in Discovery: Atlantic Education & the Law – Issue 12 By Charlotte Henderson Privacy and confidentiality requirements are some of the most important responsibilities of organizations today. An organization’s ability to properly manage information,…Read More
Included in Discovery: Atlantic Education & the Law – Issue 12 By Hilary Newman & Jacob Zelman A non-disclosure agreement, or “NDA”, is a legal contract in which two or more persons agree to keep the…Read More
By Graham Haynes & Isaac McLellan Introduction The Canadian federal budget was unveiled on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 (“Budget 2023”)1 , and proposes significant changes to the General Anti-Avoidance Rule (the “GAAR”) in Canadian tax…Read More