Saturday, December 4

The limits of the Pay Equity Act

As we know, the Pay Equity Act is based on the idea that, for work of equivalent value between the groups of women and men concerned, identical salary treatment is required. Thus the exercise consists, after having listed in the company the predominantly female groups as well as the predominantly male groups, to proceed to the evaluation of the respective jobs, using a grid of analysis to highlight predominantly female jobs having an equivalent value to predominantly male jobs.

The observation of salary gaps to the detriment of the first group will then command the required salary adjustment. That being said, my remarks relate to an article that appeared in The duty of November 20 and 21, on page E 6, entitled “Pay Equity Act”, which indicated that “59 cents is what a racialized woman received on average for every dollar earned by a non-racialized man in Canada in 2015 “. From this raw data, certainly impressive but of which we do not know either the source or, consequently, the type of analysis which led to it, we can not infer anything in terms of the corrective measures sought. At the very least, one can think that these figures do not result from a comparative evaluation – racialized women – non-racialized men – of jobs of equivalent value. Would it rather be a highlighting of the gap that racialized women have to cross, like other categories of “marginalized” people, in order to access better paid positions? This raises a question of a completely different order from that which the Law addresses. It just goes to show that throwing numbers is not necessarily enough to ensure the credibility of a cause, however laudable it may be.

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