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Employment law: 4 factors to maintain pay equity

In British Columbia, employers must comply with workplace equity laws. Under the employment law of Canada, job descriptions and the wages offered for each position must not be based on the person but rather the job. The remuneration for men and women must be equal for equally valued jobs, and not necessarily for the same job. Reliable and methodical evaluation to determine a job's relative worth can be done by comparing all the jobs in an establishment. This can be achieved by using a simple system based on four factors -- suitable for ensuring pay equity in smaller companies.

The first factor to consider is the skills required for the job, including physical and intellectual qualifications. These skills can be acquired by natural ability, training, education or experience. The next aspect to consider is the physical and intellectual effort required from the employee to do the job. The level of financial, technical and human resources responsibility of the employee must form part of the comparison.

The last factor covers working conditions. Work accommodations, isolation, temperature, noise,  stress, health hazards, physical danger and any other psychological and physical aspects of the work environment must be considered. Employers can use questionnaires and surveys to gather information about each job to allow them to objectively compare jobs and assign wage levels for all -- regardless of the genders of employees.

Employers in British Columbia with concerns about these issues can consult a lawyer who is experienced in pay equity and other employment law matters. Similarly, employees who have questions about employment equity can consult with a lawyer who can assess the circumstances and suggest the most appropriate way to proceed to remedy the situation. An attorney can help level the playing field in order to ensure fair treatment in the workplace.

Source: canada.ca, "Pay Equity in Smaller Establishments", Accessed on Feb. 23, 2018

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