Important: All businesses with an average of ten employees or more must comply with the Pay Equity Act. If your business didn't comply on time, you will have to pay a fine of 5% in addition to salary adjustments and legal fees.
The Act provides various dates and applicable reference periods. Be sure to identify those appropriate for your business.
To be in compliance with the law, businesses with an average of ten employees or more must achieve pay equity or conduct a pay equity audit; these processes can be complicated. This is why the CES provides various online tools (ie. a detailed guide, free online training, a software package, etc.). These tools are available in French only. You also have the option to consult with a firm specializing in pay equity.
The company must conduct an evaluation of the pay equity maintenance every five years. The process results must be posted for 60 days. Know that you need to keep documents (data used and content of any display) used for the establishment of equity for a period of five years.
Annual Report on Pay Equity
As of March 1st, 2011, employers are obligated to file annual reports on compliance or lack thereof with pay equity legislation. This must be done online through the CES website.
Since July 8, 2015, the following employers are required to file an annual DEMES:
- Those who stated that their company had 11 employees or more in their annual updated declaration to the Registraire des entreprises, the previous year.
- Those who stated that their company had fewer than 11 employees in their statement of annual updated declaration to the Registraire des entreprises, the previous year, but said they were subject to the Pay Equity Act in their previous DEMES.
This statement requires different information, usually in the form of a scroll down menu, such as the following:
- NEQ (Quebec Enterprise Number);
- Size of company during the reference period;
- Sector of activity;
- Posting date at which pay equity was achieved (if applicable);
- Posting date at which pay equity was audited (if applicable).
Failure to produce this statement can result in fines of between $1,000 and $15,000 for companies with less than 50 employees. These fines may double in cases of repeated non-compliance.
Here are important dates employers should keep in mind to fulfill their responsibilities around pay equity legislation. These dates include Pay Equity Act deadlines as well as a reminder to complete annual filing of the Pay Equity Employer Declaration (DEMES).