On November 15, 2018, the Ontario government tabled Bill 57, Restoring Trust, Transparency and Accountability Act, 2018. Among significant amendments to other statutes, Bill 57, proposed to postpone the coming into force of the Pay Transparency Act, 2018 (the “Act”). On December 6, 2018, it did just that.
Yesterday, Bill 57, Restoring Trust, Transparency and Accountability Act, 2018, received Royal Assent. As a result, the date of commencement of the Pay Transparency Act, 2018, is now delayed from January 1, 2019, to a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor.
Of note, the passing of Bill 57 has not altered the requirements expected of employers on the eventual date of commencement. Thus, while the day upon which the Act is to take effect has been postponed, the eventual requirements expected of employers under the Act have not. On that eventual date of commencement, and subject to any future legislative changes, these requirements will include but are not limited to the following:
- No inquiries about compensation history. The Act prohibits employers from seeking information pertaining to an applicant’s compensation history by any means. However, employers will still be permitted to seek information on ranges of compensation or the aggregate compensation that is provided for positions comparable to the positions that the applicant is applying for. Despite the restrictions on employers, an applicant is still permitted to voluntarily disclose their compensation history to potential employers.
- Compensation range in all job postings. The Act will require employers that publicly advertise job openings to include information about expected compensation, or the range of expected compensation, for the posted position.
- Produce pay transparency reports. The Act will require employers with more than 100 employees (or as prescribed) to provide a pay transparency report to the Ministry of Labour. The Ministry of Labour will then either publish the report or make it available to the public. The reports will include information relating to the employer, its workforce composition and differences in compensation with respect to gender and other prescribed characteristics. However, the required contents of such a report have yet to be prescribed by regulations.
- Reports for employers with 100 or more employees but fewer than 250 employees must submit their first report no later than May 15, 2021.
- Employers with 250 or more employees must submit their first report no later than May 15, 2020.
- Anti-Reprisal and Dispute resolution. The Act will prohibit employers from intimidating, dismissing or otherwise penalizing employees who make inquiries into compensation, disclose compensation information to other employees, inquire about an employer’s pay transparency report, provide the Ministry of Labour with information regarding an employer’s compliance or non-compliance, and ask their employer to comply with the legislation.
By Marco Fimiani and Victor Kim, McCarthy Tétrault