Employers have an obligation under the Act to ensure that the job rates of female job classes remain at least the same as the job rate of a male job class of equal or comparable value in their establishments. Employers whose actions or lack of action have the effect of widening or creating new pay equity gaps would be considered in breach of their obligation to maintain pay equity.
The Act does not explain what type of compensation practices should be used to maintain pay equity, nor does it describe specific procedures or schedules to follow.
The Tribunal’s ruling in Call-A-Service Inc v An Anonymous Employee, 2008 CanLII 88827 (ON PEHT) lays out the essential requirements for maintenance:
“Maintenance is the means by which an employer ensures that compensation practices are kept up-to-date and remain consistent with pay equity principles. Subsection [7. (1)] of the Act imposes an obligation on an employer to establish and “maintain” compensation practices that provide for pay equity. Maintenance is an ongoing responsibility; it includes regularly reviewing job classes to capture any changes to job duties and responsibilities, which may require pay equity adjustments.”
Some examples of changes resulting from ongoing maintenance that may affect pay equity are: changes to the duties and responsibilities of a job that may place it in a different job class and salary scale; the creation or elimination of a male job class used as a comparator, and changes in the gender dominance.