Canadian HR Reporter

November 2019 CAN

Canadian HR Reporter is the national journal of human resource management. It features the latest workplace news, HR best practices, employment law commentary and tools and tips for employers to get the most out of their workforce.

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CANADIAN HR REPORTER NOVEMBER 2019 NEWS 3 Feds introduce proposed amendments to Employment Equity regulations Despite delay of Pay Transparency Act, employers should prepare now: experts BY JOHN DUJAY IN AUGUST, the federal gov- ernment released proposed amendment to the Employment Equity Regulations that govern the reporting of salary data by employers. e move is part of the gov- ernment's push for pay transpar- ency, which included the passage of the Pay Transparency Act in 2018, though it has yet to come into force. The regulations were origi- nally made pursuant to the Em- ployment Equity Act in 1996 and were last amended in 2006. Now, the government wants to "update and streamline the regulations, increase clarity, improve data gathering and reduce the report- ing burden." e most significant issue to be resolved involves the definition and calculation of "salary" for reporting purposes, said the gov- ernment in its Aug. 10 release. e current calculation is complex and has been an administrative burden for years. "ese regulatory amendments seek to modify the current salary reporting requirements to collect information in support of de- termining an hourly rate of pay, hours of work, bonuses, overtime pay and overtime hours, infor- mation that will be used to pub- licly report on the wage and bonus gaps of employers." Other changes in the proposed amendments would cover: ex- panded reporting against all cen- sus metropolitan areas used by employers to understand the avail- ability of members of designated groups in their specific recruit- ing market; the mandatory use of definitions in identifying desig- nated groups (including women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities); and the capturing of salary data above $100,000. Focus on transparency It's hoped the new rules will pro- vide transparency, which will be beneficial in helping to solve the wage gap, said the government. "Experience in other jurisdic- tions has shown pay transparency to be helpful in raising awareness about the gender wage gap. In Canada, the intention is to extend this transparency beyond gender to the other designated groups. erefore, pay transparency will help to raise awareness of wage gaps that affect women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities." While the new rules may ad- dress the gender wage gap, they're not going to completely solve the imbalance, says Simmy Sahdra, an employment lawyer at McCarthy Tétrault in Toronto. "I do not believe the intention is to fix the gender wage gap entirely through amending the employer reporting obligations of [the] fed- erally regulated private sector." But they will "will help to raise awareness of wage disparity among organizations," according to Natalie Garvin, an associate at Filion Wakely orup Angeletti in Toronto. "Employers generally support the overarching goal of the federal government, and many agree that the proposed changes will more accurately depict employee earnings." A lot of work was done before the act was passed, she says, which also contributed to the delay. "Before completing the pro- posed amendments, the govern- ment extended invitations to employers, stakeholder groups, unions, special interest groups, industry associations and other interested representatives from provincial and municipal orders of government to provide feed- back on the proposed amend- ments," she says. More than 2,200 people were consulted, according to the government. And the new regime is tied in with other regulations, says Garvin. "It appears the government's intent is to bring more attention to the wage gap between men and women and other identified groups by improving the data col- lected from employers on the top- ic of pay equity. e other stated goal of these proposed changes is to streamline the reporting pro- cess for employers. Federally, there's never been a specific piece of legislation to reg- ulate pay equity, unlike Ontario and Quebec which have clear pay equity acts, according to Cynthia MacFarlane, principal of talent consulting at Mercer in Ottawa, LEGISLATION > pg. 9 Great perks. Happy employees. With a comprehensive suite of exclusive perks, for any lifestyle, your team can save on everything from travel, entertainment, dining, shopping, electronics and more… WorkPerks is truly a benefit for the good times for employees and their families. • Get access to brand names and local favourites • Save employees $1,000s every year • Leverage a fully outsourced program WorkPerks ® extends the employee experience beyond the workplace. 1.866.383.6646 Talk to us today.

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