Embracing Transparency: How Ontario and B.C.’s New Pay Laws Affect Employers

As a recruitment agency dedicated to helping businesses navigate the evolving landscape of employment law, we want to bring your attention to significant legislative changes in Ontario and British Columbia (B.C.) regarding pay transparency. These changes address gender and systemic pay gaps while promoting a more equitable workplace.

Ontario’s Groundbreaking Legislation

Ontario is set to introduce legislation requiring employers to disclose salary ranges in job postings. As noted in a Talent Canada article, this move is not just about transparency but is also a step towards addressing the gender pay gap. Women in Ontario earn an average of 87 cents for every dollar earned by men. The disparity is even greater for racialized and Indigenous women.

David Piccini, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, stressed in an article, “At a time when many companies are posting record profits, it is only fair they communicate transparently about how they pay workers.”

B.C.’s Pay Transparency Act

Similarly, B.C. has passed the Pay Transparency Act, effective May 11, 2023. This Act requires all public job postings to include the expected pay or pay range. Employers are prohibited from asking about an applicant’s pay history at other companies. This change is aimed at levelling the playing field, particularly for women, who historically have been paid less than men.

The Act acknowledges that “too many women in B.C. are still making less than men. Last year, women in B.C. earned 17% less than men.” The gender pay gap disproportionately impacts Indigenous women, women of colour, immigrant women, as well as women with disabilities and non-binary individuals.

What This Means for Employers

These legislative changes signify a shift towards greater transparency and equity in hiring practices. As an employer, it’s crucial to:

  1. Update Job Postings: Include salary ranges in all job postings. This complies with the law and can attract a more diverse applicant pool.
  2. Refrain from Pay History Inquiries: Adjust your interview and application processes to exclude questions about an applicant’s previous salary.
  3. Prepare for Reporting Requirements: In B.C., depending on your organization’s size, you may need to submit annual pay transparency reports starting November 1, 2023.
Embracing the Change

While these changes might require some adjustment in your current recruitment processes, they offer an opportunity to lead fairly and transparently. Not only do these practices promote equality, but they also can enhance your company’s reputation and attract top talent who value transparent and ethical workplaces.

How We Can Help

As a recruitment partner, we are here to guide you through these changes. We can assist in revising job postings, ensuring compliance with new laws, and helping you understand the broader impact of these changes on your hiring practices.

Remember, these laws aren’t just legal requirements but steps towards a more equitable and just workplace. By embracing these changes, your business can be at the forefront of this positive shift in the employment landscape.

For further information on how these changes might impact your business specifically, feel free to contact us. Together, we can ensure that your recruitment processes are compliant and contribute to a fairer and more inclusive workplace.