Is this law applicable to my company?
The Pay Equity Act applies to any company who employed an average of ten employees or more during their reference period (see Table 1 for applicable reference periods). However, any company that currently employs six employees or more must complete the annual Pay Equity Declaration.
*recently extended to December 31, 2010 with any pay adjustments being retroactive to November 21, 2001.
What if I employed less than 10 employees during my reference period?
If your company employed on average less than ten employees during their reference year, you must then refer to the calendar year of 2008. If you averaged ten employees or more during 2008 than you must complete your pay equity plan by January 1, 2014.
If your company still averaged less than ten employees in 2008, then you must continue to calculate the average number of employees during each subsequent calendar year. Once you average 10 employees or more you have four years after the 1st of January of the following calendar year to complete your plan.
I believe I am paying my employees equitably, is there anything else that I have to do?
Many companies commit the error of believing that because they are paying their female employees market rates, or that they are paying their male and female employees the same wages for the same jobs, they have complied with the law. This is not the case.
The purpose of pay equity is to correct differences in pay between equivalent positions within your company. An analysis must be done to compare the value and remuneration of predominantly male positions within your company against the predominantly female positions within your company.
What are the consequences if I do not comply with the law?
Following an aggressive ad campaign by the Pay Equity Commission many complaints have been filed by current or past employees who do not believe that their employer has complied with the law. In addition, the implementation of the annual Pay Equity Declaration will facilitate the Commission’s ability to track those companies who have not complied with the law.
Penalties for noncompliance range from $1,000 to $15,000 for companies with less than 50 employees, $2,000 to $30,000 for companies with 50 to 99 employees and $3,000 to $45,000 for companies with 100 employees or more.
For more information about Pay Equity please contact a member of the HR Consultants team at Fuller Landau.
We would also invite you to consult previous editions of the HR Connection newsletter on our website. Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
Information can also be obtained on the website of the Pay Equity Commission at:http://www.ces.gouv.qc.ca/index.asp
Please note that the information provided in this bulletin consists of general guidelines and that there are many exceptions and special cases that could apply.