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Module 14: Communicating Pay Equity and Handling Complaints



Welcome to the e-learning program of Ontario's Pay Equity Commission.

This module: Communications and Complaints

In this module, you will learn about the importance of communicating with your employees and handling concerns or complaints related to the pay equity process.

Communicating with your employees is vital for a good pay equity process.

If your employees understand your pay equity process, they will be able to provide good job information when asked to participate.

They will also understand your efforts to comply with the Pay Equity Act and will be more likely to buy into and trust the results.

Larger employers, with 100 employees or more, are required to post their pay equity results in the workplace in the form of a document called the Pay Equity Plan.

Employers with fewer than 100 employees do not have to post a plan. However, posting a document similar to a pay equity plan is an effective way to communicate to employees what you have done to achieve pay equity.

Whether or not you post a pay equity plan, you need to communicate your pay equity results, especially to employees in female job classes. You should let them know if they will, or won't, receive an adjustment, how much the adjustment is, and that they can come to you or the Commission with their questions or concerns.

To view a sample of a job-to-job pay equity plan, click here.

Or you can click here to see a sample pay equity plan developed using the proportional value comparison method.

You should keep all your documentation and worksheets so that you can explain your pay equity process to employees, or to a Review Officer if a complaint is filed.

These are the people that can file a complaint: a current employee, a group of employees, former employees, or an agent acting on their behalf.

Employees have the right to file a complaint under the Act. They can argue that pay equity has not been achieved, or they can disagree with the comparator or proportional value result for their job class.

They can also complain if they should have received a retroactive adjustment, or if they have been fired, penalized, coerced, or harassed because of pay equity.

There are multiple ways an employee can object to a pay equity plan. They may choose to call, or submit an application by mail, email or fax to the Pay Equity Office. This application can be found on the Pay Equity Commission's website. You can access this site by clicking on the link below.

If a complaint is filed with the Commission, a Review Officer will be assigned to investigate. If they determine that the complaint is within the jurisdiction of the Pay Equity Act, they will meet with you and the employee, or employees who filed the complaint and attempt to settle the matter.

To find out more about Review Services, click on the link to go to the Pay Equity Commission's website.

Review Officers are neutral. They do not represent the employee or the employer, but investigate and mediate on an impartial basis to ensure the requirements of the Pay Equity Act are met.

For more information regarding the role of a Review Officer, click the link to go to the Guide for Interpreting the Pay Equity Act.

In the next module, you will learn about maintaining pay equity after you have achieved it.

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