The best tool for pay equity? Legislation!

Monday, July 26 2010

The Coalition for Pay Equity considers that the Liberal government’s announcement falls short of the promises made. The Coalition denounces the government’s lack of commitment to adopt pay equity legislation as promised in the last election campaign.

“Making pay equity tools available to employers is essential, but without legislation, these tools may very well be completely useless. It is like offering someone a new car without a motor. One wouldn’t make it very far!” says Anne-Marie Gammon, president of the NB Coalition for Pay Equity.

The government revealed this morning a variety of wage gap reduction strategies for employers, as well as its new Wage Gap Action Plan website and progress report.

“The tools that have been developed show that the province is now in a position to implement pay equity legislation.  The government must act now,” insists the Coalition leader.

“The Liberal party, with its Charter for Change, committed to adopting pay equity legislation in the public sector and to working with stakeholders on developing legislation for the private sector,” points out Anne-Marie Gammon.

The Coalition firmly believes pay equity legislation is critical because it means:
• clarifying the process for both employers and employees;
• defining both parties’ obligations;
• ensuring that appropriate wage adjustments are made;
• providing for an appeal process;
• providing for an implementation and control system, such as a Pay Equity Commission; and
• ensuring fair treatment, as everyone responds to the same set of rules.

“Without legislation, employers – from both the public and private sectors – could unfortunately opt out of implementing pay adjustments even after going through the job evaluation process,” says Anne-Marie Gammon.

In fact, 82% of Quebec employers who launched a pay equity process within their company admitted having done so because of the province’s Pay Equity Act.

Pay equity means equal pay for work of equal value. Pay equity legislation means assessing predominantly female and predominantly male jobs. Where the value of predominantly female jobs equals that of predominantly male jobs, wages for predominantly female jobs must be adjusted to match those of predominantly male jobs.

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