The purpose of this paper is to discuss if pay equity legislation has worked to eliminate the wage gap between males and females in the workforce. This paper will discuss current pay equity legislation. Federal legislation includes the Canadian Human Rights Act, the Equal Wages Guidelines, and the Canada Labour Code, Part III. Provincial legislation includes the Ontario Pay Equity Act. This paper will also cover a brief time line of the history of pay equity and who is actually covered by pay equity legislation. Lastly, this paper will discuss the gender wage gap and why it exists. Graphs from Statistics Canada will aid in demonstrating the current wage gap and the significant difference in pay for males and females.
Has Pay Equity Legislation Worked?
Men and women are different in many ways, physically, genetically and anatomically; however they are the same in that they are both human beings who have a right to fair and equal treatment. All throughout history women seem to have taken a back seat to their male counterparts, as women were not officially deemed persons until 1929 after a Supreme Court hearing, they had to struggle to get recognition in the workplace, and to this day are continually fighting for pay equity in the workplace. Pay equity is defined as “the principle that men and women should be compensated equally for work requiring comparable skills, responsibilities, and effort” (Pay Equity, n.d., para. 1). The goal of pay equity “is to stop discrimination related to the under-valuation of work traditionally performed by women” (Human Resources Skills and Development Canada, 2012, para. 1). In practice, pay equity means that employees in female job classes can earn as much as employees in male job classes in the same establishment, if their work is of equal or comparable value to their employer. It is important to note that pay equity is