Government of Canada Announces the Pay Equity Act will come into Force August 31, 2021

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July 13, 2021

The implementation of the Pay Equity Act is an important part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to close the gender wage gap and ensure that workers receive equal pay for work of equal value. It will put into place long-term, sustainable changes that will ensure that women’s work is valued and compensated fairly, now and into the future. This is especially significant as the Government of Canada works to ensure an inclusive economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister of Labour, Filomena Tassi, announced that the Government will bring the Pay Equity Act into force on August 31, 2021, and that the final Pay Equity Regulations are now available in Part II of the Canada Gazette. The announcement was made in the context of a virtual discussion about the future of pay equity in Canada with the Minister of Labour and the Pay Equity Commissioner, Karen Jensen, on Facebook Live.

The Pay Equity Regulations will support the implementation of the Pay Equity Act, together ensuring that workers in federally regulated workplaces receive equal pay for work of equal value.

Once in force, employers with 10 or more employees will have three years to develop and implement their proactive pay equity plans. The Pay Equity Commissioner will be responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Act and its Regulations and she will continue to work closely with federally regulated private- and public-sector workplace parties to provide support and guidance on the implementation of this proactive pay equity regime. 

Long-standing gender inequities have only been amplified over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic and have put decades of hard-fought gains for women in the workplace at risk. Implementing proactive pay equity is in addition to other important changes the Government has made to create workplaces that are more fair, safe and inclusive, such as new pay transparency requirements and a strengthened federal framework that protects workers from harassment and violence. When hard-working Canadians can count on equal pay for work of equal value, our economy grows stronger.

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