Employers have an obligation to achieve and maintain pay equity under both the Ontario Pay Equity Act and the federal Canadian Human Rights Act, and Hicks Morley has extensive expertise in these areas.
Recognizing that the costs associated with pay equity compliance can be significant, we encourage our clients to be as proactive as possible in identifying and addressing pay equity issues that may already exist and those that may have been created through the bargaining process or through changed circumstances in the workplace.
Events that may trigger pay equity maintenance implications and obligations include:
- collective bargaining that impacts compensation and job rates
- sales, mergers, acquisitions and amalgamations
- the creation of new job classes
- changes in the value of work performed in a job class
We advise and guide our clients in the development of plans that meet their pay equity requirements of the legislation—including the obligation to maintain pay equity on an ongoing basis. Our services include:
- conducting compliance audits to determine whether pay equity was originally achieved and whether it has been maintained to date
- developing strategies to deal with identified vulnerabilities
- assisting in the drafting of the pay equity plans to ensure compliance
- acting on behalf of employers in their dealings with the Pay Equity Commission in respect of any application filed with the Commission
- acting on behalf of employers in respect of any orders that are issued against them which are subsequently challenged at the Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal
- providing strategic advice during collective bargaining where pay equity may be impacted
Our lawyers conduct webinars and full-day training seminars for employers and employer organizations on the requirements of the legislation, the requisite steps for compliance and the significant liabilities and consequences that can flow from the failure to do so.