i. Identify key female job classes
While all female job classes in the seeking organization must be included when applying the proxy method, key female job classes are initially identified and their duties and responsibilities are described and provided to the proxy employer. The proxy employer uses this information to find similar female job classes in its organization as of January 1, 1994. The Act defines “key female job class” as one where there is the most number of employees or the duties of the job class are essential to the employer.
ii. Select the proxy organization
The seeking employer selects a proxy employer from the Proxy Schedule of the Act contained in Ontario Regulation 396/93. Column 1 of the Schedule contains nine broad categories of seeking employers: Health Care Services; Services for Seniors; Services for People with Disabilities; Counselling, Referral and Accommodation Services; Services for Children and Families; Correctional Services; Cultural Organizations; and Miscellaneous. The seeking employer chooses the description from Column 1 that matches its programs and services. Column 2 of the Schedule provides the potential proxy employers for the seeking employer categories. Once the seeking employer has determined the type of potential proxy employer it requires from Column 2, it looks for an organization of this type in its geographic division. If a proxy employer cannot be found in the same geographic division, the seeking employer selects the one closest to it.
iii. Request information from the proxy employer
The provisions for information exchange between the seeking and proxy employers are detailed in [21.17] of the Act.
[21.17 (1)] For the purpose of making a comparison for a key female job class using the proxy method, a seeking employer may request any potential proxy employer to provide it with the following information relating to a potential proxy establishment of the potential proxy employer (as of January 1, 1994):
- Information about the duties and responsibilities of each female job class in the potential proxy establishment whose duties and responsibilities are similar to those of the key female job class of the seeking employer.
- The pay equity job rate for each female job class in the potential proxy establishment referred to in paragraph 1.
- The total cost of benefits provided to or for the benefit of the employees of the potential proxy establishment, expressed as a percentage of the total amount of all wages and salaries paid to those employees.
- Such other information as may be prescribed in the regulations.
The proxy employer is required to provide the job and pay equity adjusted job rate information requested by the seeking employer [21.17 (2)]. The proxy employer must provide the information within 60 days of receiving the request [[21.17 (3)]. If no similar job classes exist in the proxy organization, the proxy employer provides information for a group of female job classes whose pay equity job rates are representative of the range of pay equity job rates in the potential proxy establishment [21.17 (5)]. If the key female job classes from the seeking employer are in a bargaining unit, the proxy employer provides job information for unionized jobs unless the seeking employer and union agree that the jobs may be compared to non-unionized jobs in the proxy establishment [21.17 (6)].
[21.17 (2)] The potential proxy employer shall provide the requested information if:
- the request is made in writing;
- the request is accompanied by a copy of the order issued under subsection 21.12 (2);
- the request is accompanied by an organization chart showing the reporting relationships for all job classes of the seeking employer;
- the request contains a detailed description, in a form approved by the Commission, of the duties and responsibilities of the key female job class of the seeking employer that is to be compared using the proxy method;
- the request contains such additional information as may be prescribed in the regulations;
- the request is signed by the employer or a partner of the employer, or, if the employer is a corporation, if the request is accompanied by a copy of a resolution of the corporation’s board of directors resolving that the corporation make the request and by a certificate of an officer of the corporation certifying that the copy is a true copy; and
- if the members of the key female job class of the seeking employer have a bargaining agent,
- (i) the request is signed by the bargaining agent; and
- (ii) it indicates whether the seeking employer and the bargaining agent have agreed that the class may be compared to job classes that are not in a bargaining unit of the establishment that is selected as the proxy establishment.
iv. Proxy comparison method and achievement of pay equity
Achievement of pay equity in the establishment of a seeking employer occurs when:
- key female job classes are compared to proxy female job classes and the comparisons made as if the proxy female jobs were male job classes of the seeking employer; and
- other female jobs in the seeking establishment are compared to key female jobs as if the key female jobs were male job classes of the seeking employer [21.15 (1)].
Proxy job comparisons are conducted by valuing and comparing the seeking employers’ female job classes to those of the proxy employer. To do this, the seeking employer evaluates the job classes of the seeking and proxy establishments using a gender neutral comparison system [21.15 (3)] and determines the job rates. Once all the job values and job rates have been determined, and comparisons made using proportional value [21.15 (2)], the seeking employer is required to post a pay equity plan by January 1, 1994 [21.18, 21.19]. The seeking employer must achieve pay equity by increasing the wages of all female job classes such that the relationship between the value of the work performed and job rates of all female jobs of the seeking employer is the same as that of the female job classes of the proxy employer. At least 1% of the employers’ previous year’s payroll must be spent every year on adjustments until pay equity is achieved.