Ontario legislates for equal pay for equal work Ontario legislates for equal pay for equal work

Ontario legislates for equal pay for equal work
10 Apr 2018

New legislation in Ontario is aimed at ensuring that part-time, casual and seasonal workers are paid at the same rate as full-time employees.

The equal pay for equal work protection, which comes three months after the Liberal government increased the minimum wage to CAN$14 (US$11) per hour, dictates that all workers who perform the same tasks must be paid the same hourly wage. The law applies to part-time, casual or seasonal staff who have the same responsibilities as full-time employees.

Although it is already illegal to pay a different wage based on a person's gender, the provincial government believes the gender wage gap exists because some women are being put into positions where they are paid less than their male counterparts for equivalent work, according to CBC.

Liberal MPP for Ottawa-Orléans Marie-France Lalonde said: "In certain sectors, what we've seen is that part-time employees — primarily women and new Canadians — were being asked to do the exact same work as a full-time employee but being paid minimum wage."

Data from Statistics Canada revealed that Canadian women in 2015 earned CA$0.87 cents (US$0.68 cents) per hour for every dollar earned by men.

But there are some exceptions to the new law. The changes do not apply if an employer can prove the wage gap is due to seniority or merit. Students younger than 18 working fewer than 28 hours a week are also exempt from the new rules.

Emma Wooll

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

New legislation in Ontario is aimed at ensuring that part-time, casual and seasonal workers are paid at the same rate as full-time employees.

The equal pay for equal work protection, which comes three months after the Liberal government increased the minimum wage to CAN$14 (US$11) per hour, dictates that all workers who perform the same tasks must be paid the same hourly wage. The law applies to part-time, casual or seasonal staff who have the same responsibilities as full-time employees.

Although it is already illegal to pay a different wage based on a person's gender, the provincial government believes the gender wage gap exists because some women are being put into positions where they are paid less than their male counterparts for equivalent work, according to CBC.

Liberal MPP for Ottawa-Orléans Marie-France Lalonde said: "In certain sectors, what we've seen is that part-time employees — primarily women and new Canadians — were being asked to do the exact same work as a full-time employee but being paid minimum wage."

Data from Statistics Canada revealed that Canadian women in 2015 earned CA$0.87 cents (US$0.68 cents) per hour for every dollar earned by men.

But there are some exceptions to the new law. The changes do not apply if an employer can prove the wage gap is due to seniority or merit. Students younger than 18 working fewer than 28 hours a week are also exempt from the new rules.

Emma Wooll

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

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