Pay Equity

PURPOSE OF THE ACT AND UNDERTAKINGS COVERED

Quebec Pay Equity Legislation was first introduced in 1996 to address compensation inequities due to systemic gender discrimination against predominantly female job classes.

The legislation’s goal of “equal pay for work of equal value” remains applicable to all public and private sector employers in the province of Quebec with 10 or more employees.

Your Obligations

• Complete an initial pay equity exercise in your company.
• Ensure that the maintenance evaluation is done every 5 years.

Key Points to Consider

• Identification of predominantly female and predominantly male job classes.
• Selection and description of the method and tools used for evaluating these job classes. The evaluation approach need to take into account
the following factors:
   – the qualifications required;
   – the responsibilities assumed;
   – the effort required;
   – the conditions under which the work is performed.
• Evaluation of all female and male job classes, their comparison,
the estimation of wage gaps and the calculation of adjustments.
• Determination of the modalities of payment of salary adjustments
(if required).
• Posting results.
• Update your “Employer Declaration of Pay Equity (DEMES)”.

Important Changes to the Maintenance Process

Several amendments were made to the Pay Equity Act on April 10th, 2019. They relate mainly to the assessment of maintenance. Here are the main changes to consider as part of your maintenance exercise: 

CORRECTING WAGE GAPS

Now, from the date of the event that generated the wage gap.

ADJUSTMENT PAYMENTS (when required)

Adjustments to correct salary discrepancies identified prior to the new posting are to be paid in a lump sum.
Adjustments to correct the salary differences for the period following the new posting must be paid as a salary adjustment.
In both cases: the adjustments are due 90 days after the date of the posting or the date on which it was supposed to take place.

PARTICIPATORY PROCESS

Must be set up if:
• the initial exercise was carried out by a pay equity committee;
or
• if an accredited association (e.g. a trade union) is present in the company.

The participation process must be completed no later than 60 days prior to
the initial posting of the assessment results.

DISPLAYING RESULTS PROCESS

The results display process is a 2-step process, the results display and the new display. There is a 60-day delay between the posting of results and the new posting.

DATA MAINTENANCE

The employer must now keep, for a period of 6 years, all the information used in the pay equity work and all the results of the process from the date of the new posting.

LODGING A COMPLAINT

The form prescribed by the Act must be used.