On November 15, 2018, the Ontario government introduced legislation to, among other things, delay the January 1, 2019 in force date of the Pay Transparency Act, 2018  (“Act”). Bill 57, Restoring Trust, Transparency and Accountability Act, 2018, is omnibus legislation to enact, amend and repeal various statutes and is currently at the Second Reading stage.

No substantive changes…yet

Under Bill 57, the Act would come into force on a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor. Bill 57 does not change the substantive content of the Act, although it is foreseeable that future legislation will do so. According to the 2018 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review, which was released contemporaneously with Bill 57, the delay is to allow for consultation. The Review went on to state that “[c]omplying with the Act’s current reporting requirements would have significantly increased costs for businesses and affected some sectors more than others.”

As we noted in our previous post, the Act, as currently drafted, imposes numerous new obligations upon employers, as follows:

  • salary rates or ranges must be stated in all publicly advertised job postings;
  • candidates may not be asked about their past compensation;
  • reprisals cannot be made against employees who discuss or disclose compensation;
  • employers with 100 or more employees and prescribed employers must track and annually report compensation gaps based on gender and other prescribed characteristics in pay transparency reports;
  • such employers must post their pay transparency report online, or in at least one conspicuous place, in every workplace of the employer; and
  • the province would also publish pay transparency reports, which may be done online.

Given the many changes recently made to Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017,  it is hard to imagine that the Act will remain intact. We will continue to monitor the status of Bill 57 and will report on further developments.

  • Many thanks to Massimo Orsini for his assistance with this article.