Pay Equity is a requirement on Ontario employers to ensure that workers are paid equally for work of equal value, regardless of their gender. The requirement on employers arises out of the Pay Equity Act, which was passed by the Ontario Government in 1987 and became effective January 1, 1988; there was an amendment to this Act in 1993 as well.
Last year, the Ontario Pay Equity Commission launched what it calls the Gender Wage Gap Program to measure the extent of gender wage gaps in the public and private sector workplaces in Ontario. The measures will determine how effective the Pay Equity Act has been in establishing equitable compensation practices since its inception, and whether gender discrimination in pay practices is still prevalent in workplaces. The program is ongoing.
One purpose of Pay Equity is to redress differences in compensation due to systemic gender discrimination suffered by persons who occupy positions in predominantly female job categories. Only the provinces of Quebec and Ontario have pay equity legislation that covers the private sector. The Pay Equity Act in each province requires employers with 10 or more employees to provide equal pay for work of equal value.