Bill 148 Legislative Update: Equal pay for Equal work Provisions come into Force

As a result of Bill 148, on April 1, 2018, new equal pay for equal work provisions came into force under the Employment Standards Act, 2000.

The new provisions are aimed at equalizing pay between workers performing substantially the same type of work under similar working conditions, irrespective of their status as part-time, full-time, temporary, permanent, seasonal or casual.  Exceptions are available for employers to pay different rates if the difference is based on a seniority system, a merit system, a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production or any other factor other than sex or employment status.

The new provisions provide employees with the statutory right to request a review of their rate of pay if he or she believes that these new equal pay provisions are not being followed. In response, an employer must adjust the employee’s rate of pay accordingly or provide the employee with a written response setting out the reasons for the disparity. An employer is not entitled to reprise an employee for making a request pursuant to this provision or reduce an employee’s rate of pay in order to comply with these provisions.

As many of our readers are aware, Bill 148 brought about many new requirements that came into force on January 1, 2018. Equal pay for equal work came into force on April 1, 2018, and more amendments will come into force on January 1, 2019.  Employers may wish to review their policies closely to ensure compliance with these new obligations.