Canada is set to become the first country to make wage gap information publically available in an effort to increase pay transparency.
The federal government announced on Wednesday that it is introducing new transparency measures in federally regulated workplaces by requiring employers to include aggregated wage gap information in their annual reporting on employment equity.
The Minister of Labour, Filomena Tassi, announced the news, claiming that Canada will make wage gap information for women, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities working in federally regulated workplaces publicly available in the coming years.
These new measures apply to private-sector employers with 100 or more employees covered by the Employment Equity Act.
“Releasing data on wage gaps in our workplaces will help shift business culture and expectations toward greater equality and better outcomes for workers and their families,” says the government.
The efforts by the Canadian government are aimed at raising awareness of wage gaps across the country, according to a press release.
“Equality and inclusion in the workplace are an important part of building a strong middle class and giving all Canadians a real and fair chance at success,” reads a statement from the federal government.
The legislative amendment to the Employment Equity Act and supporting regulations will come into force on January 1, 2021.
The government says that employers will be required to include aggregated wage gap information by June 1, 2022.
“We always need to look to the future. Today, we make meaningful and lasting change to help Canadian workers and workplaces get ahead and make Canada an even better place to work. These pay transparency measures will help Canadian workplaces become more just, inclusive, diverse, and ultimately more productive,” says minister Tassi.
The first release of aggregated wage gap information will be available in the Employment Equity Act: Annual Report 2022 and through an online application.
The government adds that these new measures are intended to “harmonize” with other changes, such as the Pay Equity Act, workplace harassment and violence prevention regulations, and a new Administrative Monetary Penalties regime.