A Look Back at Canada’s 2021 Pay Equity Journey

21 Dec 2021

In 2021, the Canadian Human Rights Commission continued to develop tools and guidance to help federally regulated employers take a proactive approach to correct gender wage gaps within their organization.

Women need support now more than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic continued to amplify pre-existing gender inequities, especially for racialized women, Indigenous women, migrant women, women with low-income, single mothers, LGBTQ2SI+ women and women with disabilities or mental health issues.

With the Pay Equity Act now in force, employers have to begin work to close the gender wage gap. As we build back better, pay equity can help strengthen businesses by helping attract and retain talented and diverse employees. Closing the gender wage gap is essential to removing barriers, creating environments where employees are valued and engaged, and supporting economic and social recovery.
Engagement and Outreach

Engagement and outreach is a key component of the Commission’s day-to-day work. To help ensure a successful launch of the Pay Equity Act, the Commission provided technical briefings to workplace parties who fall under the Act. We also continued cultivating relationships with both Canadian and international stakeholders; raised awareness on pay equity issues and shared information about key requirements of the new law. This year’s engagement and outreach included:

• participating in dozens of events to foster engagement and build support;
• engaging with over 7,000 stakeholders, including employer and labour associations, non-governmental organizations, Indigenous women’s groups, and other key partners; and,
• responding to over 100 requests for information.

Resources and Tools
To help employers and employees get started, the Commission provided a variety of education materials and a series of tools and resources to help better understand pay equity and how to establish the foundation for a successful pay equity process. These resources and tools include:

Interpretations, policies and guidelines
Promising practices for workplaces
A Pay Equity Compass – an assessment tool to help people know whether the Act applies to their workplace
An information request form

The Commission is building a pay equity toolkit for release in 2022. This toolkit is designed to support small to medium-sized federally regulated organizations with the development of a pay equity plan. It will include an Excel tool, a user manual and a job evaluation guide.

Processes and procedures
The Commission has developed program infrastructure, which includes:

• a compliance strategy;
• policies;
• program performance indicators; and,
• processes so that people can make requests.

Closing the gender wage gap and ensuring that women’s work is truly recognized and valued is one of the Commission’s top priorities. Looking ahead to 2022, we will continue to support federally regulated workplaces in learning about their rights and responsibilities as they work towards meeting their obligations under the Act.

We need your help to spread the word about Canada’s Federal Pay Equity Act! Please visit the Commission’s Website to learn more about pay equity and the resources available.

We welcome your comments and questions. You can reach us by:
• Email: info.com@chrc-ccdp.gc.ca
• Phone: Toll Free: 1-888-214-1090
• TTY: 1-800-465-7735
• Via our Request for Information Form