Pay transparency in Canada: who has it?


Pay transparency has change into an progressively desired asset in the job market as extra Canadians need open discussions about their wages whereas they grapple with sharply rising prices of dwelling and ongoing pay discrepancies. 

The difficulty is very pertinent to minority staff similar to ladies, as analysis exhibits that their earnings haven’t been maintaining with inflation, probably furthering the wage rift in Canada since COVID-19 hit.

A September report from the International Labour Organization discovered that pay transparency insurance policies can assist reveal pay disparities between women and men and pinpoint their underlying causes, and will “cut back broader gender inequalities in the labour market.”

New York City lately joined the bandwagon of U.S cities to move laws requiring most employers to checklist the wage vary on all job postings, changing into one of many greatest job markets in the world to mandate pay transparency for staff.

On the opposite aspect of the world, the U.Okay. is at the moment spearheading a voluntary pilot program for employers to reveal their pay, whereas the European Union’s Pay Transparency Directive for giant employers to offer wage ranges on job advertisements is more likely to be carried out in 2024.


According to knowledge from Indeed Canada, 66 per cent of latest jobs posted on the platform contained wage data in the fourth quarter of 2021 in comparison with 80 per cent globally and 78 per cent in the United States.

But a Canadian employee’s entry to pay transparency rights actually relies on if they seem to be a federally regulated or provincially regulated worker, Jan Borowy, a Toronto-based labour regulation lawyer, advised in a telephone interview on Friday.

The federal authorities’s Pay Equity Act, which went into impact in January 2021, requires all federally regulated private-sector employers, together with banks, radio and tv broadcasters, telecommunications companies and airways, to make sure staff obtain equal pay for work of equal worth and is supposed to assist ladies and different minority staff get honest compensation for his or her labour.

To obtain this, federally regulated employers at the moment are required to report wage knowledge for all staff “in a method that exhibits aggregated wage rift data,” with the preliminary compilation and distribution of the pay knowledge scheduled for June 2022.

“The legal guidelines now making use of to federally regulated staff in Canada, with sturdy pay transparency, are much better than something New York or every other U.S. metropolis is fiddling round with,” Borowy mentioned.

“However, there are positively gaps. The largest proportion of staff in Canada are lined below provincial jurisdictions.”

Currently, legal guidelines mandating pay transparency in the provinces are extremely inconsistent. For instance:


The former Liberal authorities of Ontario launched laws referred to as the Pay Transparency Act in 2018, requiring wage transparency in job postings, simply weeks earlier than the Progressive Conservatives’ Doug Ford was elected as premier. Since then, the measure has been shelved.

The act would have utilized to all Ontario-based firms with greater than 100 staff.

“It was a really, essential first step in the entire path to pay transparency,” Borowy mentioned.

“It included issues like: an employer couldn’t ask about your former wage, couldn’t take authorized motion in the occasion you began asking questions on your wage, and reviews and evaluation have been anticipated to be filed by employers relating to wage gaps.”

The explanation why the act was shelved stay unclear, and Premier Ford’s workplace didn’t instantly reply to CTV News for remark.

Ontario represents certainly one of Canada’s largest job markets. The province added 344,800 jobs in 2021 (a 4.9 p.c rise), the very best annual enhance in employment ever recorded, based on Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey.

Borowy says that she’s optimistic that change could possibly be seen in Ontario by way of the work of girls and different intersectional collective voices.

“The key factor to recollect in Ontario is that there’s a sort of sturdy pay transparency system arrange. It’s simply on the again burner.

“If you need to change that, decide up the telephone and name Doug Ford’s workplace.”


The B.C. authorities promised in March that, as a primary step, it will start addressing the continuing difficulty of wage disparity between women and men in the province.

Grace Lore, parliamentary secretary for gender fairness, made the announcement in the legislature on International Women’s Day and mentioned consultations will start to assist develop new “made in B.C.” pay transparency laws.

“Transparency and accountability is a step to address the pay gap in B.C.,” she mentioned. “A gap that is not just about gender, but is also racialized. It’s bigger for Indigenous women and girls, those living with disabilities, and newcomers.”

According to the federal government, B.C. is certainly one of 4 provinces with out both pay transparency or pay fairness laws, and has one of many largest gender pay gaps in the nation, with ladies in the province making on common about 20 per cent lower than males.

Consultations for the laws closed this summer time.


Prince Edward Island authorised laws in June mandating that salaries seem on all public job postings.

According to the province’s web site, employers will now not be allowed to hunt pay historical past data from candidates, all public job postings might want to embody a proposed wage or wage vary, and taking motion in opposition to staff discussing or sharing salaries will likely be prohibited.

“It seems to be like Prince Edward Island has simply addressed the primary difficulty,” Borowy mentioned.

“But, they have not really turned and advised employers to maintain making detailed reviews. Detailed reviews that must be made public and are enforceable are wanted to make a distinction.”

With information from The Canadian Press and CTV News Vancouver


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