Did you know that the Pay Equity Act requires all employers in Ontario with more than 10 workers to conduct a Pay Equity review to ensure their workplace is compliant with the Act?
Pay Equity was established in the early 1990’s to address the historical underpayment of work done by women. It is a complex process, but essentially, it is the assessment of “female-gendered” jobs (such as nurses and teachers) and “male-gendered” jobs (such as custodians or maintenance workers) to ensure that female jobs which have essentially the same requirements as male jobs in four “compensable factors” – skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions – are paid at the same or similar rate.
If the female job is paid at a lower rate to the male job, the employer must raise the rate of the female job to match the male job. If the male job is the lower paid position, the males are not entitled to any increases. It is not “discrimination” against males because the Act is intended to address historical discrimination in pay against females.
Interestingly, a male working for the company does not necessarily mean that there is a male comparator for purposes of comparison for Pay Equity. The PE Commission uses the example that if you have only one nurse working for the employer, and the person holding the nursing job is male, the job is female historically, and therefore would be a female comparator for purposes of evaluation.
If there are males working in a female role such as the nurse mentioned above, they would be entitled to an increase the same as the females in that role (the role gets the increase, not the person specifically).
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