QUÉBEC, Nov. 9, 2018 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada understands that the nature of work is changing. That is why it introduced new legislation to ensure federal labour standards reflect the realities of the 21st century while advancing gender equality for women in the workplace.
The Government of Canada also knows that a strong middle class depends on a job market where both women and men have a real and fair chance at success. Despite being among the world's most educated and accounting for about one third of Canada's economic growth over the last 40 years, Canadian women continue to face many barriers to equality, such as the persistent gender wage gap that leaves women at a disadvantage. In Canada in 2017, for every dollar a man earned, a woman earned only 88.5 cents on the dollar as measured in hourly wages for full-time workers.
Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, met with VIA Rail workers to discuss new legislation that will modernize labour standards and pay equity to better protect Canadian workers and help set the stage for good-quality jobs for all Canadians.
Federal labour standards have remained largely unchanged since the 1960s. This legislation will improve employees' eligibility for various leaves and improve work-life balance by introducing new breaks and leaves, including a new-five day personal leave, of which three days would be paid. Victims of family violence will be eligible for 10 days of leave, of which five would be paid. These changes will also ensure that employees in precarious work are paid equally and have fair access to the same entitlements as their full-time counterparts.
Proactive pay equity legislation will ensure that women and men working in federally regulated workplaces, including the federal private sector, the federal public service, parliamentary workplaces, the Prime Minister's office and ministers' offices, receive equal pay for work of equal value.
"The Government of Canada is setting the standards for fairness and equality for women across the country, while bringing federal labour standards into to the 21st century for those working in federally regulated workplaces."
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
"Proactive pay equity means equal pay for work of equal value—and it's not just the right thing to do, it's the smart thing to do. By taking steps to advance greater equality for women—including measures to reduce the gender wage gap—we could add an estimated $150 billion to our economy in the next decade. The bottom line is that when people are treated fairly and are given an equal opportunity to succeed and to reach their full potential, we all benefit."
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
- Up to $50.7 million over five years starting in 2019–20 and up to $12.2 million ongoing will be allocated to support implementation and enforcement of the labour standards amendments, including education and awareness, training, and increased resources for proactive enforcement activities and ensuring timely resolution of complaints.
- Federal labour standards are set out in Part III of the Canada Labour Code. They establish the basic rights (e.g. hours of work, wages, leaves and holidays) of employees in federally regulated private sector industries, such as banking, telecommunications, and interprovincial and international transportation. They also help create a level playing field for employers by requiring them to meet these standards.
- Since 1977, the Canadian Human Rights Act has recognized pay equity as a right for employees in the federal jurisdiction under a complaint-based system (section 11). As a result, it does not require employers to actively examine their compensation practices; instead, the onus is placed on employees to bring complaints forward to redress instances of pay discrimination. A proactive system would take that burden off employees and would instead require employers to undertake a pay equity analysis to ensure that their compensation practices are in line with pay equity requirements.
- The gender wage gap is a complex issue with multiple underlying causes that include, among other things:
- over-representation of women in part-time work;
- labour market segmentation of women in low paying sectors;
- women's lack of representation in senior positions;
- bias and discrimination in the workplace;
- women's greater share of unpaid work; and
- the undervaluation of work traditionally performed by women.
- The Government is moving forward with a multi-faceted strategy to address the gender wage gap. Proactive pay equity is expected to reduce the portion of the gender wage gap in the federal jurisdiction that is attributable to the undervaluation of work traditionally performed by women.
- Government Continues Efforts to Bring Equality and Growth to the Middle Class - Department of Finance Canada
- Backgrounder: Modernizing Labour Standards
- Government of Canada introduces historic proactive pay equity legislation
- Federal Labour Standards
- What We Heard: Modernizing Federal Labour Standards
- Proactive Pay Equity Backgrounder
- What we Heard: Pay Equity Consultations
- Equality and Growth Backgrounder
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: For media enquiries, please contact: Véronique Simard, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P., Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, [email protected], 819-654-5611; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, [email protected]