The Pay Equity Act, passed unanimously by the Québec government in 1996, is proactive legislation because it requires all enterprises under provincial jurisdiction, of 10 or more employees, to take steps to ensure that there are no differences in compensation caused by systemic gender discrimination and to redress any such situation. The CSQ provides specialized services to ensure the application of and compliance with this legislation in the interests of its members.

Historically, in Québec, discrimination became entrenched in compensation, which impoverished women, because women’s wages were long considered to be supplementary income. Women earned lower wages because they were not considered to be “breadwinners.”

As Louise Chabot, President of the CSQ, recalls: “The right to pay equity is fundamental. In the 1930s, Laure Gaudreault, the founder of our Centrale, led the battle to win recognition for the full value of the work of rural schoolteachers. The cause that she championed is rooted in our organization’s DNA and we will continue fighting this battle until we prevail!”

To help CSQ members demystify and better understand the relevant components of the legislation, advisors with expertise in pay equity have produced three information vignettes on the following topics: What is pay equity maintenance? What are my rights and remedies? How do the concepts of equity, equality and relativity differ?

We invite you to share these segments with your work colleagues, your friends and your family. Understanding pay equity and knowing your rights is important for ensuring that your rights are respected.

Make sure to keep following us because we will be producing additional vignettes.

Pay equity maintenance

Did you know that the Pay Equity Act requires employers, once they have completed the initial pay equity evaluation, to ensure that no differences in compensation caused by systemic discrimination are recreated in an enterprise? Yes, this is called a pay equity audit. Want more detailed information about this requirement? Wondering whether the issue affects you? Our information segment will answer your questions and more.

Your rights and remedies

It is important to remember that pay equity is a fundamental right and that employers have obligations to meet when they conduct an audit of pay equity maintenance. Want to learn about employer obligations? Want to understand what must be taken into consideration in such an audit? Did you know that employers must comply with timelines when posting results, as do employees when they wish to exercise their rights? For the answers to these questions, please view our video.

Differentiating concepts of equity

It is not always easy to understand the distinctions that must be made when comparing the concepts of pay equity, pay relativity and pay equality. We felt it important to clarify each of the concepts so that you are able to make such distinctions. This segment will help you to understand the differences and the nuances.