Increasing pay transparency for federally regulated employers under Employment Equity Regulations
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: John Samms, Sadira Jan, Paul Kiley, Dave Randell, Alanna Waberski, and Jayna Green As we explained in our July 6, 2022 “Winds of Change” article, the announcement made by Minister Andrew Parsons on April…Read More
Included in Beyond the Border – July 2022 By Brittany Trafford; Fredericton Brief Overview In an attempt to address the Canadian labour market shortages, the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (“EMPP”), was introduced in 2018.…Read More
By Alanna Waberski, Graham Haynes and Maria Cummings On June 10, 2022, the Government of New Brunswick proclaimed into force Bill 95, which amends the Business Corporations Act (New Brunswick) (the “NBBCA”) to require corporations…Read More
Included in Discovery: Atlantic Education & the Law – Issue 10 Hannah Brison and Dante Manna Increased financial volatility caused by recent global events has caused public sector defined benefit (“DB”) pension plans to reflect…Read More
Included in Beyond the Border – July 2022 By Sara Espinal Henao; Halifax It is a well-known fact that Atlantic Canada needs workers. In the aftermath of COVID-19, regional employers in the trucking, health, construction,…Read More
By: John Samms, Matthew Craig, Dave Randell, and Jayna Green On July 26, 2022 the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador (the “Province”) released “Guidelines: Nominating Crown Lands for Wind Energy Projects” (the “Guidelines”). Described as…Read More
Included in Discovery: Atlantic Education & the Law – Issue 10 By Kate Profit Tenure is a well known and often discussed topic amongst academics. Viewed by unions as a cornerstone of modern universities,…Read More
Nancy Rubin & Tiegan Scott On July 21, 2022, the Federal government announced a new investment of up to $255 million for clean energy initiatives in Nova Scotia. The funds will be allocated in two…Read More