On November 8, 2023, we wrote about the new pay transparency legislation in British Columbia that is now in effect and also noted that the Ontario government announced plans to introduce similar legislation. On November 14, 2023, the Ontario government did just that with Bill 149, Working for Workers Four Act, 2023

Bill 149, among other things, would require employers who advertise a “publicly advertised job posting” to include “information about the expected compensation for the position or the range of expected compensation for the position.”

Bill 149 further notes that the following information may be prescribed by regulation:

  1. The definition of “publicly advertised job posting”;
  2. Exceptions to the requirement to post expected compensation, or the range, for the posting; and
  3. Conditions, limitations, restrictions, or requirements regarding the range of expected compensation for a publicly advertised job posting. 

Although it could change in future iterations of Bill 149, or by regulations to follow, the obligations in Bill 149 are not as onerous as the obligations in British Columbia’s Pay Transparency Act, which also require reporting obligations. 

Prince Edward Island 

Prince Edward Island amended its Employment Standards Act (“ESA”) effective June 1, 2022, which, similar to the new requirements in British Columbia:

  1. Requires employers to post a salary or a range for a specific job posting;
  1. Prohibits employers from asking candidates about their pay history; and
  1. Prohibits employers from preventing employees from discussing their pay with other employees. 

“Publicly advertised job posting” is broadly defined as “an external job posting for a specific job that an employer advertises to the general public in any manner, but for greater certainty does not include recruitment campaigns, general help wanted signs or positions that are only advertised to existing employees of the employer.”

Despite the broad definition of “publicly advertised job posting”, unlike in British Columbia, there is no requirement or guidance regarding how narrowly the employer must state the expected pay for the position. Nonetheless, we expect the range must be reasonable to comply with the ESA. Furthermore, currently, there are no reporting requirements. 

Pay Transparency Efforts in Other Provinces 

In Newfoundland and Labrador, the Pay Transparency and Pay Equity Act was passed in October of 2022; however, the pay transparency provisions of the legislation have not yet taken effect. 

Other provinces have not yet introduced pay transparency legislation; however, it would not be surprising if it follows shortly given the uptake by other provinces. 

For personalized advice and compliance support, connect with our dedicated lawyer Ben Currie who is based in Halifax and has experience serving clients throughout Atlantic Canada. Need a hand navigating this evolving area? Contact us to schedule a legal consultation. Stay ahead of employment law changes!