Published On: Wed, May 23rd, 2018

Ontario Transparency Legislation to Go into Effect January 1, 2019

Ontario’s pay transparency legislation to go into effect on January 1, 2019. The legislation, introduced in March, aims to close the wage gap between men and women. The legislation will require that all publicly advertised jobs include salary ranges and rates.

Employers will also not be allowed to ask employees about their past compensation rates. Applicants can voluntarily disclose their past compensation. The information provided may be used by the employer as consideration when determining the applicant’s potential pay rate.

Employers will also lose the right to penalize an employee that seeks compensation information from others.

Public domain photo/Wikimedia Commons

Larger employers will also have a framework that requires the tracking of compensation gaps and disclose information to the province.

“As an employee in the Province of Ontario, this new legislation—if passed—will expand your rights in the workplace and, hopefully, accomplish its goal of narrowing and eliminating the wage gap between men and women in the workplace. Under the “pay transparency” bill: You are entitled to information on salary rate or range as a job applicant,” writes Toronto employment lawyers.

Ontario claims that the wage gap has remained stagnant for the past decade. Women in the province earn an average of 30% less than men. The province claimed that they were looking at other jurisdictions to learn the best way to reduce the wage gap. Australia, the United Kingdom and Germany were all jurisdictions that the government examined to create the framework for their transparency legislation.

The legislation recently passed, and it will go into effect on January 1, 2019.

Transparency reports will be filed annually by May 15 for all companies that employ 100 or more employees in Ontario. The reports will be sent to the Ministry of Labour. Regulations have yet to be formed that state what the reports are required to contain.

Workforce demographic composition will need to be filed as well as compensation based on gender.

The first transparency report for employers in Ontario that have 250 or more employees will be required to be submitted by May 15, 2020. Employers with 100 – 249 employees will need to file their first report by May 15, 2021.

Employers will also be required to make their report public. The report must be filed online or in a conspicuous area in the workplace. All transparency reports that are filed will be published by the Ministry. The legislation does not state where the reports will be filed, but legal experts expect the reports to be listed online.

Regulations, aside from gender categories, have yet to be formed. This means that there is little guidance on what differences need to be tracked in respect to compensation.

It’s unclear how the legislation will impact small businesses that have less than 100 employees. Disclosure for these small businesses are not expected to be required.

Policies in the province have been progressive with election campaigns run around the expansion of drug coverage for younger workers that are 25 and under. There has also been talks of raising the minimum wage in the province.

Author: Jacob Maslow

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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