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ESIC Committee recommends pay equity legislation for the private sector

2019-02-05

Moncton – The New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity calls on the provincial government to follow the recommendation of a Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation (ESIC) committee and “adopt comprehensive pay equity legislation that covers employees in both the public and private sectors”.

After several months studying the matter, the final report of the Advisory Committee on Living Wage and Pay Equity has just been released. It calls for the adoption of comprehensive legislation modeled on the Acts of Ontario and Quebec, as well as the recommendations of the 2004 federal pay equity task force.


"The Committee recognizes that pay equity is an important tool in the reduction of poverty. This is a vigorous stance. Pay equity should be at the heart of any plan to increase women's financial security, "says Frances LeBlanc, the Coalition Chair.


"That is why we are asking the government to implement the committee's recommendation to legislate pay equity for the private sector by the end of 2020," she continues.


The Advisory Committee is comprised of representatives from businesses, government, citizens, and non-profit organizations, including the Coalition Executive Director, Johanne Perron. Its mandate was to consider the creation of comprehensive pay equity legislation and to explore the concept of a living wage.


For Jean-Claude Basque, the provincial coordinator of the Common Front for Social Justice and member of the ESIC Committee, it is an economic question. "We much achieve pay equity in all sectors of the economy. It is essential for women’s financial independence. Pay inequity reduces their wages when they are in the workforce, then their pension income when they retire. It is unfair."


A reminder that pay equity is equal pay for work of equal or comparable value. The Government of New Brunswick passed the Pay Equity Act, 2009 for the public sector, including Crown corporations.

 

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Government is encouraged to consider best practices and lessons learned from Ontario and Quebec, as well as the recommendations of the 2004 federal Pay Equity Task Force, during the writing of the legislation and its implementation in New Brunswick.

Without legislation, pay equity is dependent on employers’ will which is not always sufficient to ensure men and women are paid equitably.


     
Report on Living Wage and Pay Equity, 2018

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