How we can help

The role of the Pay Equity Unit at the Canadian Human Rights Commission is to administer and enforce the Pay Equity Act in federally regulated organizations.  As part of this role, the Pay Equity Unit provides guidance to employers, bargaining agents and employees in a variety of ways as they implement pay equity in their workplaces. This work includes:  

  • Responding to questions about pay equity; 
  • Deciding on requests to modify how the workplace applies the Pay Equity Act;  
  • Assisting workplace parties to resolve disputes; and, 
  • Monitoring and auditing compliance with the Act. 

What you can do 

As a workplace party, you may need to reach out to the Pay Equity Unit to:

  • Notify the Pay Equity commissioner
  • Make an authorization request
  • Get help to resolve a dispute
  • Request information 

Notify the Pay Equity Commissioner

As part of the pay equity process, employers are required to notify the Pay Equity Commissioner if they established a pay equity committee on their own initiative or at the request of an employee. 

As an employer, if you have established a pay equity committee on your own initiative or at the request of an employee, you can request the form by contacting the Pay Equity Unit at:

Make an authorization request

The Pay Equity Act lays out the rules all employers must follow. However, there may be certain situations when an employer or pay equity committee needs to ask the Pay Equity Commissioner for permission to change the way certain rules apply to them. 

The Commissioner has the authority to approve these requests if they meet certain criteria. The chart below outlines the kinds of requests possible. To learn more, review the information referred to in the chart below.  
If you wish to file a request for authorization, please complete the Request for Information form here.

The general rule is... However, a request can be made...
The Pay Equity Act applies to each employer individually For a group of employers to be recognized as a single employer. Find out more about groups of employers
Each employer must develop and post one pay equity plan that covers all of their employees To establish multiple pay equity plans. Find out more about multiple pay equity plans
An employer who must, or who chooses, to set up a pay equity committee must follow a committee-led process To establish or update a pay equity plan without a pay equity committee in limited circumstances. Find out more about Pay Equity Committees
Pay equity committees must meet the membership requirements in the Pay Equity Act To set up a pay equity committee with different membership requirements. Find out more about Pay Equity Committees

To allow a pay equity committee with different membership requirements to continue its work. Find out more about Pay Equity Committees
An employer must use the equal average or equal line method to compare compensation To use another method to compare compensation.
An employer must meet the deadlines for key pay equity milestones in the Pay Equity Act To extend the deadline for posting a pay equity plan.
To extend the deadline for phasing in increases in compensation.

Get help to resolve a dispute

When a pay equity plan is created or updated, it is possible that matters of dispute, objections and complaints that cannot be resolved may arise between the representatives of the employer, the bargaining agent, and/or the non-unionized employees. For example, representatives may disagree about which compensation comparison methodology should be used. In such instances, the Pay Equity Commissioner may assist the parties through dispute resolution methods such as mediation. If the workplace parties are unwilling or unable to settle the matter, the Pay Equity Commissioner may make a decision with regard to any matter in dispute, objection or complaint.

More information about resolving disputes will be available by late summer 2021.

If there is a dispute related to the development of the pay equity plan in your workplace, try and resolve the matter.  If you are unable to do so, please complete a Request for information form to discuss the issue with a Pay Equity Officer.

Request information

If you are unable to find answers to your questions on our website, please contact us using one of the options below: 

  1. By telephone through our National Call Centre:
    Toll Free: 1-888-214-1090 
    TTY: 1-888-643-3304 
    Hours of operation: 
    Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) 
  2. By completing a Request for Information Form.
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