The audit program of the Commission de l’équité salariale: what employers should knowLinkedIn
There, in black and white
NB bulletin Vol. 16 N. 8, June 2013
As set out in its strategic plan for 2009-2014, the Commission de l’équité salariale (“the Commission”) has implemented an audit program intended to ensure the application of the Pay Equity Act (“the Act”) by Quebec employers subject to it.
Since the Act came into force, the Commission’s audit and investigation process was based primarily on complaints filed by employees. However, with the implementation of the Règlement concernant la déclaration de l’employeur en matière d’équité salariale in March 2011, the Commission now has access to a wealth of information that it can use to investigate, on its own initiative, employers suspected of wrongdoing.
The Commission’s intentions with respect to the measures it is taking and the means at its disposal to ensure compliance with the Act are straightforward. Videos featuring the President of the Commission, Marie Rinfret, which make the Commission’s intentions unequivocally clear, have been uploaded to and are available on the portail de l’Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés (French only).
As part of the audit process, the Commission has also given itself the mandate of ensuring the compliance of the work completed by employers (as the case may be, a pay equity process, a pay equity plan or a pay equity audit, hereinafter referred to as "work") and requiring corrective action when necessary. Employers who refuse to fulfil their obligations are subject to fines and prosecution. Fine amounts are set out in section 115 of the Act.
Report on pay equity
The report on pay equity (referred to as “DEMES” by Quebec government entities) is the annual reporting tool used by the Commission to conduct its audit program. This reporting requirement is separate from the requirement to demonstrate, through concrete work and postings, that the employer’s compensation practices are free of gender based discrimination. Between two deadlines to complete work, every five years, an employer’s report on pay equity is the same from year to year even though it must be filed yearly.
Various situations associated with the report on pay equity may prompt the Commission to open an audit file. These include:
An additional group of employers must complete pay equity work
January 1, 2014 is the deadline for the completion of a pay equity exercise for a new group of employers subject to the Pay Equity Act. Employers may be subject to the January 1, 2014 deadline for a number of reasons:
If your organization meets any of these criteria and is thus subject to the Act, the work to be completed will depend on the size of your enterprise:
1 The calculation method and excluded employees are set out in sections 6 and 8 of the Act. Please note that the calculation applies to Quebec employees only.
Please feel free to contact us for additional information.
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