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Module 4: Job Classes



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

This module: Job Classes

In this module, you will learn how to group your positions into job classes and determine which job classes are male, female or neutral by using Chart 1 and 2 in the worksheet.

A job class consists of one or more positions which have these four features in common:

  • Similar duties and responsibilities
  • Similar qualifications
  • Similar recruiting procedures, and
  • The same pay rate, pay scale or pay range

The job rate is the highest rate of compensation for a job class.

Compensation means all payments and benefits paid to an employee who performs functions which entitle him or her to be paid a fixed or ascertainable amount.

The job rate includes salary, benefits, bonuses, incentive pay, and gifts. The calculation of these items may be difficult but is required.

Some jobs are paid a single rate of pay. Other jobs may have a scale or range of pay.

Positions with similar duties and responsibilities may be grouped into one job class if they are paid on the same scale or range, even though the individuals in the positions may be at different points on that scale or range.

Click on any of these buttons to view an example of same rate, same scale or same range.

While some jobs have a range or scale of pay, other jobs may have one single rate that every employee is paid.

In this example, four carpenters working for a construction company are all paid the same rate of $29.80 per hour.

In this example, an administrative assistant is paid on a seniority scale. She is earning $15.75 because she has been in the job for two years.

The job rate is the maximum rate on the seniority scale - $16.50 in this example. Another employee is paid the starting rate of $14.25 per hour. For both employees, the job rate is $16.50, the maximum rate of that job class.

In this example, the Office Manager is paid on a merit scale. Her actual salary is $43,000 annually, because she has been in the job for three years, and has been performing exceptionally.

Another employee starting in the job might be paid at the minimum, and will continue at this rate until they demonstrate their competence in the basic requirements of the job.

For each of them, the job rate is the same, even though they are at different points on the merit range.

To group your positions into job classes, use Chart 1 of the worksheet which you downloaded from the previous module.

In column 1, list all of the positions from highest to lowest pay or from lowest to highest pay.

In column 2, list the associated rate, scale, or range of pay for that position.

Please note that you must have as many positions as you have employees.

Next, you must group your positions into job classes.

Remember, to belong to the same job class, positions must:

  • Have the same rate, scale or range of pay
  • Have similar duties and responsibilities
  • Have similar qualifications, and
  • Have been filled using similar recruiting procedures

Positions that have all four factors in common belong to the same job class.

Also, keep in mind that a job class may have only one position.

Let's see which positions on the list have these four factors in common.

The senior sales rep. and the junior sales rep. have all factors in common except for the job rate. Therefore, they will be in two separate job classes.

The technicians have all four factors in common. Therefore, these two positions are in one job class.

Using the same reasoning, the two secretaries will share their own job class.

As a result of the analysis, there are seven separate job classes: office manager, accountant, senior sales rep, junior sales rep, technician, secretary and receptionist.

There are three tests that you can use to determine the gender of a job class:

  • Current percentage of males or females
  • Historical pattern, and
  • Stereotypical perception

You will now examine each of these tests.

The first test looks at the percentage of men or women currently doing the job.

If 60% or more are female, the job class gender is female.

If 70% or more are male, the job class gender is male.

The second test looks at the historical incumbency of the job class within your organization. Have only men or only women held that job in the past?

If the historical incumbency is male, this test indicates a male job class.

If the historical incumbency is female, this test indicates a female job class.

For new organizations, this test is not applicable.

The third test is stereotypical perception.

There may be a perception in society that the job is a male or female job.

For example, nurse is considered a female job, whereas car mechanic is considered a male job.

After evaluating the test results, you should have a clear idea of whether the job class is male or female.

If you cannot conclusively determine the job class gender, you may call it neutral.

You will now transfer the list of job classes from Chart 1 to Chart 2 of the worksheet.

Chart 2 is used to record your analysis of the three tests. Let's go through a demonstration.

First, you will enter the total number of female employees in Column 2 and the number of male employees in Column 3.

These numbers will help you estimate the percentage of males or females in Column 4. In this case, the job classes are clearly male- or female-dominated.

You will enter the historical patterns, either male or female, in Column 5. As previously mentioned, this information may not be available for newer organizations.

Next, you will enter the stereotypical perception associated with each of your job classes in Column 6. For some job classes, there may be no stereotypical perception.

In Column 7, you will enter the job class gender, based on your assessment of the test results.

In this example, the job class genders are clearly male or female.

If the job class gender is not apparent, it may be neutral.

The results in Column 7 will determine whether you must continue with the pay equity comparison process.

If your results show only female, or only male, job classes in your organization, you would not go any further in your pay equity comparison process.

If in future you have both female and male job classes, you must start the pay equity process again.

If, like most organizations, you have both male and female job classes, then you must continue the comparison process.

In the next module, you will learn about gender neutrality.

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