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What does Pay Equity mean?
•Degree to which the actual pay of an employee matches what he or she thinks to deserve. High pay
equity means high employee satisfaction with his or her job, low pay equity increases the potential
for absenteeism, grievances, strikes, and turnover. Also called pay satisfaction.
•Pay Equity is, not equal access to jobs offered by an employer. This is called employment equity,
which means that women and men and the visible minorities have equal opportunity when applying
•At first, it meant equal pay for equal work. However, as organizations tried to achieve Pay Equity,
they quickly realized that is was very difficult to compare the SAME IDENTICAL two jobs and
their compensation since each one comprised a different set of tasks. The difficulties experienced by
organizations with this approach prompted the government to adopt the following definition:
"Equal pay for different but equivalent or similar work".
•This change ensures that comparisons are now easier to make between FP jobs and MP jobs of
equivalent value. Job value is discussed in The Pay Equity Process section.
•The change also enables comparisons between jobs of different types but similar in terms of level
of responsibilities. An example of this would be to compare trades and services jobs with clerical
jobs of equivalent value.
•Pay equity is equal pay for work of equal value. Pay equity is the fundamental human right of
women workers to be paid wages that are free of the systemic gender-based discrimination that
values and pays women's work less than men's work of comparable value.
Pay equity is the legal remedy to sex-based wage discrimination. Pay equity requires that women's
and men's jobs be evaluated in a non-discriminatory way by accurately identifying and valuing the
skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions of the job. Pay equity requires that female jobs
be paid the same as male jobs of similar value. If a female job is paid less than a male job of similar
value, pay equity requires that pay to the female job be raised to the match the male job.
In summary, pay equity means:
1.paying jobs usually done by women at least the same as jobs usually done by men.
2.even though they are different jobs
3.as long as the jobs are of equal or comparable value.
Why Do We Need Pay Equity?
In general, work traditionally or predominantly done by women is paid less than work traditionally
or predominantly done by men regardless of the value of the work to the employer or the consumer.
The more heavily women are concentrated in a job, the less it pays.
This has created a significant wage gap between men and women.
Pay equity legislation works to eliminate that discrimination and close the wage gap. In 1987, the
year before Ontario's Pay Equity Act came into force, comparing average yearly full time salaries,
women earned only 64% of what men earned. After almost twenty years of pay equity laws, women
now earn 71% of what men earn.
Pay equity works. But the Pay Equity Commission has expressed concern that one broader public
sector and private sectors are substantially not complying with the law. The Act must continue to to
be enforced and wage discrimination must be eliminated.