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The Pay Equity Act

​​​​​​What is Pay Equity?​​

​​​In 1987, the Ontario government passed the Pay Equity Act. The Act describes the minimum requirements for ensuring that an employer's compensation practices provide pay equity for all employees in female job classes.

The purpose of the law is to redress systemic gender ​​discrimination in compensation for work performed by employees in female job classes.

The Act requires private sector employers with ten or more employees and all public sector employers to value and compare jobs usually done by women to those usually done by men in an objective and consistent way using factors of skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions. A female job class must receive compensation that is at least equal to the compensation that is paid to a male job class of equal or comparable value.​

Pay Equity for Employees: A Matter of Fairness

Pay Equity for Employers: It's Worth It!

The Law

The Pay Equity Act, ​R.S.O. 1990, c.P.7, as amended, is available on the Province of Ontario's E-Laws website. ​

Note To Users

The Pay Equity Act and the Proxy Sections:

The E-laws version of the Act does not contain Part III.2 or other sections of the describing the proxy method of comparison.

In 1996 the Legislature repealed the proxy provisions of the Act (S.O. 1996, c.1, schedule J, s.1.). The Service Employees International Union challenged the repeal before the Ontario Divisional Court on the basis that it contravened sections 15 and 28 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Court agreed with the Union and ruled that the repeal was unconstitutional and of no force and effect. (SEIU, Local 201 v. Ontario (Attorney-General) (1997), 35 O.R. (3d) 508).

However, while the Court's ruling restored the proxy provisions to full effect, the Legislature has not amended the to reintroduce the repealed sections into the statute.

The missing provisions of the Pay Equity Act, which the Pay Equity Office (PEO) is required to enforce, are reproduced on the Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal (PEHT) website. The proxy provisions can be found here​.

Warning:​ This reproduction is provided for your assistance and convenience only. Please refer to the Pay Equity Amendment Act, 1993 (S.O.1993, c.4) which remains the official version.

PEO Order Summaries

From time to time, Pay Equity Office will post anonymized summaries of orders issued by Review Officers to illustrate some aspect of pay equity. An "anonymized" order is an order from which information has been removed to protect the privacy of the individuals. The summaries are not considered law.​