Report of the committee

Friday, December 7, 2018

The Standing Senate Committee on National Finance has the honour to present its


Your committee, to which was referred Bill C-86, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures, has, in obedience to the order of reference of December 4, 2018, examined the said bill and now reports the same without amendment but with observations.

Respectfully submitted,



Observations to the thirty-seventh report of the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance (Bill C-86)

Pay Equity Act

Considering the concerns expressed by a certain number of witnesses, your committee calls for the Government of Canada to initiate a parliamentary review in six years’ time at the latest, and suggests the following areas be examined:

(i) the impact of including the phrase “while taking into account the diverse needs of employers” in the Purpose section of the Act, and setting the bar at making “all reasonable efforts” to establish pay equity committees;

(ii) the impact of allowing pay equity committees access to all salary data within a workplace;

(iii) the impact of requiring unanimity amongst voting employees on pay equity committees, and the interpretation of the term “direction” in practice, with regard to the relationship between employers / bargaining agents, and the members representing them on pay equity committees;

(iv) the possible discriminatory effects of excluding benefits from the determination of compensation due to temporary, casual or seasonal nature of work;

(v) the impact of grandfathering existing job class valuations of work without requiring the posting of the plan in the workplace and allowing for new comments from employees;

(vi) the impact of the restriction on retroactivity of adjustments;

(vii) the impact of not requiring the filing of pay equity plans with the pay equity commissioner; and

(viii) the use of the broad discretionary powers allowing for the Governor in Council to exempt any employer, employee, position or class from the application of this Act.