WHAT IS CANADA DOING TO REDUCE THE GENDER PAY GAP?

Pay Equity

In Canada, for every dollar a man earns, a woman earns 88 cents on the dollar as measured in hourly wages for full-time workers.

In 2018, as one of the measures to reduce the gender wage gap, the Government of Canada committed to introducing proactive pay equity legislation, likely in the fall of 2018. Background information on the anticipated pay equity legislation is linked here.

Proactive pay equity legislation will ensure that on average women and men in federally regulated sectors receive the same pay for work of equal value. It will cover all federal jurisdiction employers with 10 or more employees, including seasonal, temporary, part-time and full-time positions. The legislation will provide clear timelines that employers will have to follow when implementing and maintaining pay equity, as well as independent oversight of the legislative regime.

Introducing proactive pay equity legislation in federally regulated workplaces is expected to contribute to reducing the portion of the gender wage gap that is due to the undervaluation of work traditionally performed by women. Preliminary estimates suggest that it could reduce the gender wage gap by about 2.6 cents in the federal private sector (to 90.7 cents on the dollar), and by about 2.7 cents for the core public administration (to 94.1 cents on the dollar).

Pay Transparency

The Government of Canada has committed $3 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, to provide Canadians with more information on pay practices of employers in the federally regulated sector. This would include converting existing pay information filed by federally regulated employers under the Employment Equity Act into more user-friendly online content, with specific attention paid to making existing wage gaps more evident.

In addition, the Government will provide $1.5 million over 2018-19 and 2019-2020 to host a major symposium on women and the workplace in the spring of 2019 that will bring together leaders in the private and public sectors to discuss and share best practices. The objective of the symposium would be to encourage and provide tools for Canadian employers to address issues faced by women in the workplace, from wage gaps to harassment.

IN WHAT WAY IS EPIC RELEVANT TO CANADA?

EPIC can be relevant to Canada in a number of ways. The Government of Canada is looking forward to learning from best practices for implementation and monitoring in other countries as they relate to initiatives and legislative measures aimed at reducing the gender wage gap, including pay equity and pay transparency. Canada will also share its expertise and practices concerning gender equity initiatives with other countries. EPIC also represents an opportunity for networking and building relationships in areas of common interest. Finally, Canada is looking forward to advancing and contributing to the realisation of SDG 8, in particular target 8.5, with a view to accelerate the pace towards equal pay for work of equal value.