Newfoundland and Labrador's pay equity and pay transparency bill passes third reading

The bill builds on the government’s ongoing efforts to support women and gender-diverse people

Newfoundland and Labrador's pay equity and pay transparency bill passes third reading

The Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly has passed proposed legislation on third reading that addresses pay equity and pay transparency in the province.

The Pay Equity and Pay Transparency Act (Bill 3) seeks to support equitable pay practices in the province and builds on the provincial government’s ongoing efforts to support women and gender-diverse people. The bill is divided into two categories: pay equity and pay transparency.

“This legislation is a positive step forward for gender equality, and for populations who have experienced discrimination in the workplace such as women, gender-diverse people, members of the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community, Indigenous people, Black and racialized people, people with disabilities, and other intersecting identities,” said Minister Responsible for Women and Gender Equality Pam Parsons. “I look forward to supporting my colleagues as we continue to progress pay equity and pay transparency measures.”

Under the pay equity provisions, all public sector employers with 10 or more employees will be required to establish, maintain, and implement compensation practices based on four criteria − skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions. Moreover, the provisions will designate a commissioner under the Public Service Commission Act to act as a pay equity officer.

“I am pleased to see government advance and legislate the requirement for pay equity, which ensures the recognition of skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions in job evaluation,” said Deputy Premier and President of Treasury Board Siobhan Coady.

Meanwhile, the pay transparency provisions will apply to all employers in the public and private sectors. In particular, the provisions will require employers to include information regarding pay in publicly advertised job postings and authorize certain employers to prepare pay transparency reports.

The provisions will also prohibit employers from requesting pay history information from job applicants and penalizing an employee or applicant who inquired about or disclosed pay information or requested that the employer complies with the bill.

“Pay transparency is just one step in the process of pay equity,” said Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister Responsible for Labour Bernard Davis. “It is one mechanism to help level the employment playing field, and another step to help address the gender wage gap in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

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