Ontario’s Pay Equity Office launches new legal resource

A woman holding an equal pay sign. Photo: HR Law Canada/Canva
By Pay Equity Office

The Pay Equity Office is pleased to offer a new resource for compensation specialists, unions, legal professionals, and others who are interested in learning more about pay equity law in Ontario. 

The Selected Case Reference Guide is an annotated version of the Pay Equity Act with a curated selection of relevant tribunal and court caselaw presented alongside the section of the Act that it applies to. 

Each selection is presented as a short synopsis of the case’s precedent with a link to the source decision on www.CanLii.org. Readers can look up key cases either by browsing to the section of the Act you’re interested in, or by using the Case Index at the end of the Guide. 

“We are pleased to offer this valuable new resource to support pay equity practitioners in their understanding of the Pay Equity Act and relevant caselaw”, said Kadie Ward, Commissioner and Chief Administrative Officer of the PEO. “This guide will serve as an efficient reference tool to support employers create their pay equity plans in accordance with the Act.”

This Guide is a living document and will be updated from time to time. We welcome your feedback on the Guide – please send your comments to [email protected]

Visit https://www.payequity.gov.on.ca for more information, resources and tools. Follow the Pay Equity Office on LinkedIn and Twitter for all the latest news and resources.

Commissioner Ward is available for interviews at the following times:

  • Thursday, January 5, 2023; 10:00am-11:00am
  • Thursday, January 5, 2023; 1:00pm-2:00pm

Quick facts:

  • Ontario was the first jurisdiction globally to pass a Pay Equity Act in 1988 covering public and private employers. The Pay Equity Office promotes gender economic equality by administering the Act. The purpose of the Act is to eliminate pay inequity between work that has typically, historically, or stereotypically done by women and work that has been typically, historically, or stereotypically done by men where work is of comparable value to their organization.
  • The Act applies to all public sector organizations in Ontario, and to provincially-regulated private sector organizations with 10 or more employees.
  • The Office offers information and resources to help employers and employees understand their rights and responsibilities under the Act. It also investigates complaints alleging contravention of the Pay Equity Act and works to help parties resolve their disputes.
  • The gender wage gap is the difference between wages earned by men and wages earned by women. In Ontario:
    • The hourly wage gap has narrowed eight percentage points since 1998 to 11 percent in 2021 when looking at average hourly wages. This means, on an hourly basis, women made 89 cents on average for every dollar made by a man.
    • The average annual earnings gap was 25%. This means, on an annual basis, women made $0.75 for every dollar earned by men in 2020, or the gender wage gap was 29%. The average annual earnings gap in Ontario has narrowed by twelve percentage points since 1998, when women earned $0.63 for every dollar earned by men.