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The Pay Equity Office’s head office is temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we continue to serve the public. Go to our “Contact Us” page for more information.

​​​Guide to Understanding​ the Pay Equity Act

This Guide gives an overview of the minimum requirements of the Pay Equity Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P7 (as amended), as interpreted by the Pay Equity Office. The interpretations are drawn from our own experiences and by applying the key rulings of the Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal and the courts. The Guide is designed primarily to help employers understand their obligations under the Pay Equity Act and is current to the date of publication.

The text contains examples that show how an employer might comply with the Pay Equity Act and provides examples to illustrate ways to approach compensation issues; however, it does not suggest a specific solution for any particular organization. Many of the requirements can be met in a variety of ways. For educational materials and resources on "how to" implement pay equity, and for information updates, please contact the Pay Equity Office.

The information contained in this Guide does not replace the legal authority of the Pay Equity Act. It does not bind the Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal. An official version of the Pay Equity Act is available on the Province of Ontario's E–Laws database of statutes and regulations.​​

NOTE: T​he proxy provisions of the Pay Equity Act (Part III.2) are not included in Ontario's e-laws because the government has not amended the law to re-introduce the sections that were repealed by the legislature but subsequently restored by an Ontario Court ruling (Services Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 201 v. Ontario (Attorney-General), 1997 CanLII 12286) (ON SC). The Pay Equity Office is obligated to enforce the proxy provisions due to the court ruling. The proxy method of pay equity is only available to those employers in the public sector that had employees on July 1, 1993 and that are specifically described in the Appendix to the Pay Equity Act. A full version of the Pay Equity Act, including proxy provis​​ions.

Within the Guide, the Pay Equity Act will be referred to in short form as the "Act" and sections of the Act quoted or referred to throughout the text will be found [in square brackets]. The Pay Equity Commission will be referred to in short form as "the Commission", the Pay Equity Office as "the Office" and the Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal as "the Tribunal". Tribunal and court cases are linked where possible.


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