The Pay equity Act

Adopted in November 1996, the Pay Equity Act aims to correct the portion of the wage gap attributable to the systemic undervaluation of jobs predominantly held by women. It applies to any company with at least ten (10) employees, from the private, public or parapublic sector. The Commission for Standards, Equity, Health and Safety at Work (CNESST) is responsible for the application of this law.

Under the Pay Equity Act, there are two distinct obligations incumbent on companies:

  • The initial pay equity exercise is mandatory for all companies under provincial jurisdiction with an average of at least ten (10) employees in Quebec. This exercise must be carried out only once, then an evaluation of the maintenance of pay equity must be carried out every five (5) years.
  • The Declaration of the employer in terms of pay equity must be completed for any company registered with the Registraire des entreprises (REQ), which declared having eleven (11) or more employees the previous year.

To know your pay equity obligations, the first thing to do is to calculate the size of your business during your reference period.

Then, if you are subject, that is to say if you obtain an average of ten (10) or more employees during your reference period, you will have to do a pay equity exercise. To do this, it is recommended to follow a free training provided by the CNESST (in class or online).

Once the training is complete, you can complete your pay equity exercise yourself using Progiciel 3.0, a free tool developed by the CNESST.

Please note that the CNESST offers a telephone information service fully prepared to answer all your questions regarding pay equity: calculation of the size of the company, deadlines, job evaluation, use of the software, registration for training, etc. . Do not hesitate to contact them toll free at: 1 844 838-0808.

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