Ontario must urgently introduce pay transparency laws to tackle a gender wage gap that has remained virtually unchanged for 30 years — the legacy of inadequate enforcement and funding, according to equal pay advocates.
The changes proposed by the Toronto-based Equal Pay Coalition would require employers to report and post hourly wage and pay arrangements, including the breakdown of part-time, contract and temporary agency employees as women increasingly bear the brunt of precarious work.
“Canada and Ontario are no longer on the leading edge on this. Canada’s standing in global ranking has been falling because of the failure to address women’s economic inequality,” said Fay Faraday, co-chair of the Equal Pay Coalition.
“The reality is that having discrimination-free wages is a non-negotiable. There is no other starting point for this discussion.”
On average, women in Ontario are paid 30 per cent less for doing the same job as men, a gap that narrowed by just 6 per cent since the late 1980s. To put the figure in perspective: if a man were to retire today at 65, a woman would have to keep working until she was 79 to quit with the same earnings.
The gap sharpens considerably based on race and origin. The pay gap for indigenous women is 57 per cent, for immigrant women it is 39 per cent, and for racialized women it is 32 per cent. Women also make up the majority of minimum-wage earners and part-time workers.
Read the whole article at Toronto Star.