Ontario just passed a law that requires all employers to be open and honest about salaries and negotiating compensation, to protect future employees from unfair and discriminatory wage gaps. Ontario is the first province in Canada to introduce these new rules.
According to the Ontario government, women applying to jobs will now have more access to information about their pay and how it compares to their male peers. All job ads that are posted online are required to list the salary range, and employers will no longer be allowed to ask a potential hire about how much they made at their previous jobs.
Not only that, larger companies will soon be required to track and report all wage gaps based on gender, race and other diversity characteristics. They'll then have to publicize the data within their workplace, so all employees are made aware. They also have to report the data to the province.
These laws are a huge step for the Canadian workforce. For the first time, employees will no longer be left in the dark about how their workplace determines their salary. Ontario's goal for the initiative is to "increase transparency in the hiring process," and improve equality.
The wage gap in Ontario has barely improved in the last ten years. Overall, women earn 30% less than men. Racialized women earn 42% less than non-racialized men and 15% less than non-racialized women. Clearly, this initiative is long overdue.
According to Harinder Malhi, the Ontario Minister of the Status of Women, the new laws "will not only highlight pay inequities, it will help shift attitudes and biases that prevent women from achieving equal pay for equal work." The laws are set to take effect at the start of 2019.
Source: Government of Ontario