Bill 3, Ontario’s Pay Transparency Act, 2018 (Act), recently received royal assent and — with the exception of one provision — will come into force on January 1, 2019. The Act will significantly impact many employers, both as it relates to their hiring practices and reporting requirements, with pay transparency reports due as early as May 2020.
The Act was previously introduced as Bill 203, as discussed in our March 2018 Blakes Bulletin: How Will Ontario’s Pay Transparency Act Affect Your Organization?, but was re-introduced in a slightly modified form as Bill 3 after the Ontario legislature was prorogued on March 19, 2018.
The Act now provides additional details that were not included in Bill 203, including those relating to the Act’s purpose and the requirements relating to pay transparency reports.
The purposes of the Act include:
- Promoting gender equality and equal opportunity in employment and in the workplace, including equal compensation, through increased transparency of pay and workforce composition
- Increasing disclosure of inequities related to employment and compensation that women and other Ontarians may experience, to encourage the removal of these inequities
- Promoting the elimination of gender and other biases in hiring, promotion, employment status and pay practices
- Supporting open dialogue and workplace consultation between employers and employees, including with respect to compensation and equal opportunity.
As noted in our March 2018 Blakes Bulletin, certain employers are required to submit pay transparency reports.
The Act provides that every employer with 100 or more employees and every prescribed employer must collect certain information no later than May 15 of each year in order to prepare a pay transparency report. The first report for employers with 250 or more employees must be submitted by no later than May 15, 2020, while the first report for employers with 100 or more employees, but fewer than 250 employees, must be submitted no later than May 15, 2021.
These pay transparency reports will be published (or otherwise made available to the public) by Ontario’s Ministry of Labour.