Pay Equity:

Experiences of Canada and the Province of Ontario

GGD-94-27BR: Published: Nov 2, 1993. Publicly Released: Nov 2, 1993.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the legal requirements and present status of pay equity in Canada's federal and private sectors.

GAO found that: (1) although legislation mandates pay equity in Canada's public and private sectors, prohibits gender-based discrimination, and requires employers to determine a job's value, the legislation does not address racially-based pay inequities; (2) the Canadian Human Rights Act prohibits employers from establishing or maintaining wage differences between genders for work of equal value; (3) Ontario's Pay Equity Act covers about 4.8-million employees, addresses systemic gender discrimination in wages, and requires employers to prepare pay equity plans and meet prescribed plan deadlines; (4) the Canadian government has paid over $500 million in pay equity adjustments to approximately 74,000 workers; (5) the Canadian Treasury Board has begun hearings to resolve pay equity complaints and independently oversees equity pay adjustments, since previous joint management-union initiatives have collapsed because of apparent payment methodology bias; (6) Ontario has implemented two pay equity plans that have increased the annual wages for about 31,220 union and nonunion employees by $372 million; and (7) the total amount of private-sector equity payments could not be determined because private-sector employers are not required to report the amount of their pay equity adjustments.

Feb 24, 2021

Jan 12, 2021

Sep 16, 2020

Feb 25, 2020

Dec 30, 2019

Oct 10, 2019

Oct 2, 2019

Sep 25, 2019

Sep 11, 2019

Aug 15, 2019

Looking for more? Browse all our products here