July 4, 2018

What you need to know about Ontario’s Bill 3, the Pay Transparency Act

With Ontario’s Pay Transparency Act officially coming into force on January 1, 2019, Legal Counsel Lyndee Patterson sets out what employers need to know, including information about deadlines for their reports.

Ontario’s Pay Transparency Act, which became official in May 2018, has most of its provisions come into force on Jan. 1, 2019.

Among other things, the changes:

  • prohibit employers from seeking compensation history information about an applicant for a position
  • require employers to include in the expected compensation or range for the position in any publicly advertised job posting
  • include anti-reprisal and arbitration provisions

Although January 1, 2019 is a significant date, many employers are more concerned about the upcoming deadlines for their organization’s “pay transparency report.”  Annual reporting obligations are being phased-in based primarily on employee size. 

 > 250 employees

 > 100 employees

 Report Due: May 15, 2020

May 15, 2021

Employers must prepare and post annual pay transparency reports that include information about:

  • workforce composition
  • differences in compensation in the employer's workforce with respect to gender and other prescribed characteristics

Bill 3: Background

As listed in s.4 of the Pay Transparency Act, its purposes are:

  (a)  to promote gender equality and equal opportunity in employment and in the workplace, including equality of compensation between women and men, through increased transparency of pay and workforce composition;

  (b)  to increase disclosure of inequities related to employment and compensation that women and other Ontarians may experience in the workplace to encourage the removal of such inequities to promote the full and equal participation of women and other groups in the workplace;

   (c)  to promote, amongst employers, the elimination of gender and other biases in hiring, promotion, employment status and pay practices;

  (d)  to support open dialogue and workplace consultation between employers and employees on issues concerning employment, compensation and equal opportunity; and

  (e)  to support economic growth through the advancement of equity in employment and in the workplace for women and other groups.

Employers await details on reporting requirements

The regulations that would detail the requirements for reporting have not yet been released. The Act is clear, however, that these reports are to be posted by employers online or in a conspicuous place in every workplace. Further, the responsible Ministry will make the copy of the report that employers file with them publicly available and/or publish them online.


Lyndee Patterson

Residing in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Lyndee Patterson is a lawyer on staff at Ceridian responsible for legislative compliance and for monitoring the provincial and federal legislative landscapes from an HCM perspective. She also represents Ceridian on the Federal Government Relations Advisory Council.

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