October 25, 2018 Gatineau, Quebec Employment and Social Development Canada
Equal pay for work of equal value is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do. A strong middle class depends on a job market where both women and men have a real and fair chance at success. That’s why this year the Government of Canada will introduce proactive pay equity for workers in federally regulated sectors. Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced the release of the Pay Equity Consultations What We Heard Report, which marks an important milestone towards fulfilling that commitment.
The What We Heard Report summarizes feedback from over 40 stakeholders, including key employer, employee and advocacy stakeholders. Those who participated in the consultation broadly supported the principle of pay equity—equal pay for work of equal value. In moving forward with proactive pay equity legislation, the government is drawing upon the valuable feedback gathered through these consultations. This will ensure that the new proactive pay equity system respects the human rights of employees in the federal jurisdiction and is responsive to the diverse needs of employers in all types of federally regulated workplaces, from the public service to small businesses.
“When Canadian women can count on equal pay for work of equal value, our economy grows stronger, families prosper and communities thrive. Combined with the action we’re taking on other fronts – such as enhanced parental leave flexibility, pay transparency, and better access to flexible work arrangements – we expect to really move the dial and make progress towards greater gender equality in Canada.”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
“Every Canadian deserves to be compensated fairly for the work they do. To achieve this, we must end discriminatory practices that continue to devalue work performed by women. We agree with stakeholders that pay equity is an imperative that we can no longer afford to delay. By removing the barriers to equal compensation, we can reduce the gender wage gap, grow the middle class, and help ensure the right conditions for women and their families to thrive.”
– The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women
“We’re committed to resolving pay equity in a balanced and responsible way. For our world-class public servants who serve Canadians every day, the issue of pay equity doesn’t just affect women. It affects all of us as Canadians, because equality and fairness are Canadian values.”
– The Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada
Canadian women are among the world’s most educated. Over the last 40 years, greater participation of women in the workforce has accounted for about one-third of Canada’s economic growth. Yet women and girls still face barriers in achieving their potential.
In Canada in 2017, for every dollar a man earned, a woman earned 88.5 cents on the dollar as measured in hourly wages for full-time workers. When comparing overall earnings on an annual basis, women earned even less – just 69 cents for every dollar earned by men.
In addition to drawing on the insights gained from its stakeholder consultations, the Government is also carefully considering the recommendations of the Special Committee on Pay Equity, and the 2004 Bilson Pay Equity Task Force Report, as well as lessons learned from Ontario and Quebec, which have had proactive pay equity regimes in place for many years.