Pay equity law will close gender wage gap

July 7, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Human Rights Commission

Today, the Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the federal Pay Equity Commissioner welcome the timeline for the coming into force of the Pay Equity Act, which will ensure equal pay for work of equal value. This new law is an important tool in promoting gender equality, closing the gender wage gap and contributing to greater equity and inclusion in Canada.

The Act will come into force on August 31, 2021, and will apply to federally regulated public and private sector employers with an average of 10 or more employees. It will also apply to parliamentary workplaces through changes made to the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act.

As a first step, employers will be required to inform their employees that they will be establishing a pay equity plan.

These employers will have to meet the following requirements:

  • Post a notice, informing their employees of the establishment of a pay equity plan on or before November 1, 2021;
  • Form a pay equity committee - Employers of 100 employees or more, or with unionized employees will need to form a pay equity committee to carry out the steps of the pay equity plan; and,
  • Create and share their pay equity plan with employees on or before September 3, 2024.

During this period of transition, the Pay Equity Commissioner and their office will provide a series of tools and resources that will help employers and employees understand pay equity and how to establish the foundation for a successful pay equity process.

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Quick Facts

  • Based on the most recent Statistics Canada data, in 2020, a woman in Canada earned 0.89 cents for every dollar a man earned.
  • The role of the Office of the Pay Equity Commissioner is to administer and enforce the Pay Equity Act in federally regulated organizations. As part of this role, the Office of the Pay Equity Commissioner provides guidance to employers, bargaining agents and employees in a variety of ways as they implement pay equity in their workplaces.


“Pay equity is an internationally recognized human right, which will benefit employees and employers, while fostering equity and inclusion in the workplace.”

- Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner, Canadian Human Rights Commission
“Closing the gender wage gap is essential to removing barriers, creating environments where employees are valued and engaged, and supporting our country’s economic and social recovery. “

- Karen Jensen, Federal Pay Equity Commissioner, Canadian Human Rights Commission

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