What to expect: Authorization requests

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The Pay Equity Act and Regulations set out the rules employers must follow to develop a pay equity plan. However, there are certain situations when an employer, bargaining agent or non-unionized employees (“Workplace parties”) may ask the Pay Equity Commissioner for permission to modify some of these rules. These are called Authorization requests.

The Authorization Request Assessment Process

The Authorization Request Assessment Process

Submitting your Request

As the requestor, you are responsible for demonstrating to the Pay Equity Commissioner that your authorization request should be granted. Be sure to provide all relevant supporting materials when you submit your form. Please take note of the following important information:

  • You should submit an authorization request using the Pay Equity Portal. The form and a guidance document is in the Portal. Review them carefully, along with the materials available on our website, to ensure that you are providing all relevant information.
  • Your authorization request will be decided based on your completed form and supporting materials, and if requested, representations from affected workplace parties.
  • You are expected to add any workplace party that might be affected by your authorization request. Please see the guidance document in the Portal and the Pay Equity Portal page for more information on identifying workplace parties.

What to Expect next

Once you submit your authorization request application, the Pay Equity Unit will review your information to ensure:

  • the matter falls within the Commissioner’s mandate and jurisdiction;
  • the request includes the required information; and
  • a formal authorization request is necessary.

A Pay Equity Officer will then contact you in the Pay Equity Portal. Where appropriate, workplace parties may be provided an opportunity to submit representations to your request.

Workplace Parties

Who are workplace parties?

A workplace party can be any certified bargaining agent, employer or non-unionized employee that is not the requestor and might be affected by an authorization request (Affected party).

What is their role in an authorization request?

For multiple plan authorization requests, workplace parties affected by a request are given the opportunity to provide written representations to the request. The workplace parties are provided access to the authorization request application in order to prepare their representations.

For all other authorization requests, the Pay Equity Unit may ask for written representations from affected workplace parties if this assists in the assessment of the request. The workplace parties are provided access to the authorization request application and all non-confidential information in order to prepare their representations.

The Pay Equity Unit will inform the affected parties of the next steps in the process.

Decision of the Pay Equity Commissioner

The Pay Equity Commissioner will provide all workplace parties with a copy of the decision. Authorization request decisions are final. Parties have the option to apply to the Federal Court for judicial review.

Key Pay Equity Decisions are available on the Canadian Legal Information Institute's (CanLII) website.

Important Reminders on timelines and compensation increases

Please note that filing an authorization request does not extend the timeline to create a pay equity plan. Additionally, even if an authorization request is made to extend the timeline for posting the pay equity plan, and that extension is granted, any compensation increases are still due on the day after the three-year deadline. Employers who owe their employees increases will have to pay them a lump sum plus compounding daily interest, calculated as of the three-year deadline.

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