March 27, 2018by Israel Foulon LLP
The Ontario Government has introduced Bill 203, Pay Transparency Act, 2018, which would require that compensation be based on a job’s requirements and a candidate’s qualifications, and require certain employers to track and publish information about compensation in their organizations. On March 1, 2018, the Bill was carried on First Reading. The Bill is not yet law. However, if the Bill is eventually enacted, which we expect will be the case, the new rules would come into effect on January 1, 2019.
The proposed changes are summarized in detail below. In short, the Bill would:
· Require that all publicly advertised job postings include a salary rate or range;
· Prevent employers from asking job candidates about their past compensation;
· Prohibit reprisals against employees who discuss or disclose compensation; and
· Establish a framework to require larger employers (see below) to track and report compensation gaps based on gender and other diversity characteristics, to be determined through consultation.
The Government has announced that the proposed reporting measures would begin with the Ontario Public Service (OPS). Following consultation, the proposed reporting measures would then apply to employers with more than 500 employees and, later, to employers with more than 250 employees. All of the other proposed measures would apply to all employers.
Pay Transparency Act, 2018
1. Employers would be prohibited from seeking compensation history information from job candidates (s. 4).
2. Employers would be required to include information about expected compensation or range of compensation in any publicly advertised job posting (s. 5).
3. Employers (the OPS and employers with more than 250 employees) would be required to prepare pay transparency reports that include information about the employer, the employer’s workforce composition, and differences in compensation in the employer’s workforce with respect to gender and other prescribed characteristics (s. 6).
4. Employers would be prohibited from intimidating, dismissing, or otherwise penalizing employees for, among other things, making inquiries about the employee’s compensation, disclosing their compensation or asking the employer to comply with the Act or the regulations (s. 7).
5. Compliance officers would be appointed to enforce the Act (s. 8).
- Compliance officers would be permitted, without a warrant, to conduct a compliance audit of an employer (s. 11).
- If the Act is contravened, compliance officers would be permitted to issue a notice and specify a penalty for the contravention (s. 12).
- A notice of contravention of the Act could be disputed within 30 days after the date of service of the notice (s. 13).
6. The limitation period for a notice of contravention would be one year after the occurrence of the last act or default upon which the contravention is based (s. 16).