Swift Human Resources 8665 Décarie boulevard T.M.R, Quebec H4P 2T9 Tel: 514-486-5627 Fax: 514-486-2266 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pay Equity Maintenance In February 2014, the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ) won a court challenge against certain provisions of the 2009 reform of Quebec’s Pay Equity Act. The plaintiffs argued that the changes introduced during the 2009 reform penalized employees in female employment categories because they were not entitled to a retroactive wage adjustment as soon as a change in their category occurred but only once the pay equity maintenance exercise was completed, which could occur up to five years later. The argument in this case is that the obligation to pay salary adjustments without the possibility of retroactivity is a source of discrimination based on gender and continues the systemic discrimination against women the Act was supposed to eliminate. This judgement invalidates two sections of the Pay Equity Act (Articles 76.3 and 76.5) concerning the posting of results and the lack of retroactivity when assessing maintenance. In other words, up until this point and since 2009, Quebec employers have been required to perform a pay equity maintenance exercise at the end of each five-year period, keep track of events that might generate wage adjustments, and only pay the adjustments due at that time rather than when the adjustments occurred. However, on February 21, 2014, Quebec’s Minister of Justice filed a notice to appeal the judgement stating that it contains errors of fact and law that deserve to be reviewed by the Court of Appeal. Hence, the Court’s declaration of invalidity, unenforceability and infectivity is suspended for a period of one year (January 24, 2015), to allow the government time to modify the law. The Pay Equity Act, as amended in 2009, continues to apply in its entirety. The Commission therefore continues to handle pay equity complaints and disputes and the enforcement of its Maintenance program under the current provisions of the Act. Swift HR can help employers with the regular maintenance of their compensation analyses and adjust salaries accordingly in order to avoid penalties in the future.