Moncton — The New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity celebrates the coming into force of the long-awaited federal Pay Equity Act today, August 31, 2021.
“This is a great victory for the 1.3 million Canadian workers covered by this legislation. We are pleased the federal government is taking the lead in ensuring pay equity for workers in female-dominated job. In addition to bringing us closer to closing the gender wage gap, pay equity goes a long way toward ensuring women’s political, social and economic equality”, said Krysta Cowling, the Coalition’s Chair.
The Act ensures that people employed in female-dominated jobs in federally regulated workplaces are paid the same as those in male-dominated jobs of equal value. Concerned workplaces include the federal public service, parliamentary workplaces, and federally regulated private employers with at least 10 employees in sectors such as banks, telecommunication and interprovincial transportation. Employers will have to develop and implement a pay equity plan within three years.
As New Brunswick faces the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to advance pay equity and gender equality is all the more pressing.
“This is a sobering reminder of the lack of protection for the 65 per cent of working women employed in New Brunswick's provincially-regulated private sector, as well as in municipalities, universities, and the community caregiving sector," adds Cowling. Pay equity is enforced in the public sector through the Pay Equity Act, 2009, but no legislation exists for the private sector.
“In order to attract and retain more workers, the provincial government can start by valuing their work and ensuring that they receive fair wages. The best way would be to adopt pay equity legislation for the private sector,” concludes the Coalition’s Chair.