Pay equity in the Workplace

Pay equity in the Workplace

Pay equity in the Workplace

Pay equity continues to be an issue, even in 2021. Presently, the option to work remotely has sparked questions about pay equity, and more specifically, pay equity between sexes. There are predictions that the option to work remotely could close the gap, but other assertions suggest that it could actually increase the pay discrepancy. There are concerns that some employees may choose remote work over others, and if remote work is not compensated the same as in-office work, it has the potential of affecting future pay equity.

It is important to understand with all the noise surrounding current work adaptations in 2021, the ESA sets out to protect every employee from unequal pay. According to the Employment Standards Act (ESA), no employee who works in the same workplace, has equivalent duties, similar expertise, and comparable performance as another employee, should receive diverging pay.

Ontario Human Rights Code

The ESA protects employees from receiving less compensation than they deserve, but it is the Ontario Human Rights Code that protects employees from unequal pay based on biased or discriminatory decision-making processes.

The Ontario Human Rights Code indicates that it protects anyone from bias or discrimination on the basis of: “race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, age, marital status, family status and record of offences”.

Equal Work

Employees expect to receive “equal pay for equal work” – but how is equal work defined?

Equal work between employees is calculated by the type of work, workplace location, skill, duties, and effort of employees who work in comparable conditions. If two employees parallel each other in these categories, then they should be receiving the same compensation.

Pay Equity Act

The Pay Equity Act guarantees that women and men receive the same compensation for work that is parallel to one another. The work between the male and female employee does not need to be identical, only worth the same value to the employer. However, the act does not protect employees of the same sex with similar jobs from payment gaps.

If you have any questions about pay equity or if you believe that you have been receiving unequal pay, please contact KCY at LAW by filling in an online consultation request or contact us by phone at 905-639-0999 to book your consultation today.