In most situations, the identity of the employer responsible for pay equity will be clear. In situations where it is not clear, determining the employer for pay equity purposes will depend on the facts and circumstances of the business structure and/or employment relationships. The Tribunal devised four tests that, when applied, determine who is the employer for pay equity purposes Ontario Nurses Association v. Haldimand-Norfolk (Regional Municipality) (No.3), 1989 CANLII 1454 (ON PEHT).
- Who has overall financial responsibility?
- Who has responsibility for compensation practices?
- What is the nature of the business, service, or enterprise?
- What is most consistent with achieving the purpose of the Pay Equity Act?
The first three tests are applied to identify who controls the work and, if still unclear, the fourth is applied Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 1582 v. Metropolitan Toronto (Municipality), 1989 CanLII 1461 (ON PEHT).
For pay equity purposes, the employer controls the work, financial issues, employment or labour relationships and the organization’s core activities. The employer is the decision-maker with the power and capacity to affect pay practices. See also Hilton Works v. MacDonald, 1993 CanLII 5419 (ON PEHT) and Thomson Newspapers Corporation v. Southern Ontario Newspaper Guild, 1993 CanLII 5427 (ON PEHT).