Canada: Quebec’s Pay Equity Changes Take Effect 

Canada: Quebec’s Pay Equity Changes Take Effect
23 May 2019

Amendments to Quebec’s Pay Equity Act took effect on 10 Apr 2019, following the Supreme Court of Canada’s 2018 declaration that certain provisions of the act were unconstitutional.

Highlights of the Amendments

  • Pay equity audit. Employers with 10 or more employees must conduct a pay equity audit every five years and post the results, including the date of the event that led to the wage gap. After the audit, adjustments to equalize pay must be retroactive to the date that led to the wage gap. The committee on standards, equity health and safety (CNESST) will determine the adjustments required to correct past wage differentials. Employers now have to keep pay audit documentation for six years, up from five under the old law.
  • Employee participation. Certain organizations must introduce an employee participation process to provide employees with information about the pay equity audit at least 60 days before posting the audit results.
  • Complaints. CNESST will provide a form that must be used by employees to file a complaint. CNESST will assist as needed with the filing process, can group complaints that address the same points of law and will facilitate the conciliation of complaints.

Related Resources

  • Pay Equity Act (National Assembly of Québec, 12 Feb 2019)
  • Press Release (French) (Ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité Sociale, 10 Apr 2019)


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