Before You

Step 1: Identifying and
Grouping Job Classes

Does the Ontario Pay Equity Act apply to you? If so, what documents will you need to gather before you start?

Documents you will need:

  • A list of all employee names
  • A list of all job position titles
  • Employment type for each employee (full time, part time, contract)

PEO Resources:

Using neutral job descriptions, sort all jobs in your organization into clusters called “job classes” using four required criteria.

A “job class” is a collection of positions in your organization that have specific characteristics in common:

  1. Similar duties and responsibilities
  2. Similar qualifications
  3. Similar recruiting procedures
  4. Same compensation

The pay equity process involves comparing female job classes to male job classes. Before you can make comparisons, you first need to determine what your job classes are by grouping job positions according to the four criteria listed above. “Job position” refers to a role that an employee fulfills in a company.

In order to group positions, take your list of job position titles and create a table to keep track of your assessment of the similarity of the titles

A job class can consist of a single job position. A job position can have multiple incumbents.

Documents you will need:

  • Job descriptions (or job ads if you do not have job descriptions)
  • Compensation info for each job position

PEO Resources:

Step 2: Determine Gender
of Job Classes

Step 3: Evaluate
the Job Classes

Use three required criteria to determine whether each job class is “gender-neutral”, “female”, or “male”.

You must use all three of the following three criteria to determine the gender of a job class:

1. Current incumbency

  • 60% or more are female, class is female
  • 70% or more are male, class is male
  • All else is gender neutral

2. Historical incumbency

Consider the gender of the employees who have done the work in the past.

3. Gender stereotype

What most people commonly believe to be jobs held by women and jobs held by men.

Note: Criteria 2 or 3 could be used to change the job class gender from “Gender Neutral” to “Female” even if Criteria 1 is less than 60% female.

Documents you will need:

  • Job descriptions (or job ads if you do not have job descriptions)
  • Compensation info for each job position

PEO Resources:

If Step 2 shows you that you have both female and male job classes, you are ready to move to the next stage of quantifying each job class’ contribution to the company’s success. This quantification process requires the use of four “factors”: skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions. The quantification method that the PEO normally uses is the “point value” method.

You do not need to evaluate gender neutral job classes. However, if you want to evaluate them for internal equity, you can do so.

To ensure that your job descriptions fully capture all responsibilities and describe them in gender neutral terms

Documents you will need:

  • Job descriptions (or job ads if you do not have job descriptions)
  • If you collect information through other means, e.g.  interviews, questionnaires or job evaluation committees, gather those documents for this step.

PEO Resources:

Step 4: Determine
Job Rates

Step 5: Compare Female and Male Job Classes

Determine the job rate of each job class by taking all elements of compensation in addition to base wage or salary (e.g. commission, benefits, paid leaves, etc.), and converting them to a common unit of measure. The most common unit of measure is an hourly rate.

You need to include all forms of compensation, not just base salary. For example, include the value of supplementary health benefits, commissions, tips, vehicle or expense allowances, etc.

PEO Resources:

  • s.7.8 and s.7.9 (pp. 36-43 in the pdf) in the Guide to Understanding the PEA

Step 6: Calculate and Pay Adjustments

Step 7:

The comparisons in Step 5 will reveal whether pay increases are owed to any female job classes. Pay increases may be retroactive and if so, a Review Officer or the Tribunal may require that interest be applied to those payments.

PEO Resources:

Don’t let your good work go to waste by letting new pay equity gaps emerge or old gaps re-emerge.

Because every workplace is unique, Ontario’s Pay Equity Act only imposes a general obligation on employers to maintain pay equity, i.e. to prevent new gaps emerging. The Act does not set out specific steps or requirements for maintenance.

– Integrate maintenance seamlessly into your human resource practices. Every time you update a job description, change compensation, revise your organization structure, etc., you should run the change through your pay equity analysis to make sure new gaps don’t emerge. If you are a small business, the PEO’s Toolkit can make this a much easier exercise for you.

Keep good records. Keep them where you can find them easily. Make sure they are good quality, e.g. well organized, clearly labelled, agreements are properly signed by all parties, and so on. Make sure they are comprehensive – keep track of important emails, meeting minutes, calculations, payroll stubs, correspondence, as examples.

PEO Resources:

The Pay Equity Office delivers presentations to organizations, workplaces and policy developers across Ontario, Canada and Internationally.