Equal pay for equal work protections are expanding on April 1, 2018.
The Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) currently prohibits an employer from paying a lower rate to an employee on the basis of the employee’s sex. As of April 1, 2018, employers may no longer pay less to employees because of sex or “differences in employment status.”
These prohibitions fall under the “equal pay for equal work” section of the ESA, but the section heading is a misnomer. For years, employment lawyers have had to explain that this is really the “equal pay for substantially the same work” section. The obligations in this section have caused confusion in the past, and given that these protections soon will expand to many more employees, employers must pause and review their overall compensation regime.
A summary of the new requirements and their practical impact is set out below.