Ask the ExpertCategory: QuestionsFederal Pay Equity Act
hri_Admin Staff asked 2 years ago

When the Federal Pay Equity Act comes into force, do we need to include executives in the plan?
The definition of employee looks to be as follows:
a person employed in the public service, other than

  • (i) a person appointed by the Governor in Council under an Act of Parliament to a statutory position described in that Act,
  • (ii) a person locally engaged outside Canada, or
  • (iii) a person employed under a program designated by the employer as a student employment program;

However, the definition of non-union employee means an employee who is not a member of a bargaining unit, other than an employee who occupies a position declared to be a managerial or confidential position as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act or an employee who performs management functions or is employed in a confidential capacity in matters relating to industrial relations. (non syndiqué)

1 Answers
Glenn Demby Staff answered 2 years ago

I’m not a pay equity expert, but my personal opinion as a lawyer is that the federal pay equity law does NOT count execs. 3 reasons:
1. Definitions: As you note, the federal definitions don’t specifically address whether an exec is an employee. But it does use the word “employed.” And at least in the context of employment standards laws, executives aren’t “employed”; they ARE the employer.
2. Guidance: The Social Development templates for calculating compensation by comparitor group go as high as upper managers and stop there. In other words, there are no templates for calculating executive compensation for comparison purposes. And the reason for that, I believe, is that you’re not supposed to make those comparisons for purposes of the pay equity law.
https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/portfolio/labour/programs/employment-equity/tools-resources/workforce-analysis.html
3. Legislative Purpose: The objective of pay equity laws is to achieve equality at all levels of the organization from top management down to part-time employees. Executive compensation is a separate issue, one that’s subject to its own regulations, including corporate and benefits laws.
For all those reasons, I THINK the answer to your question is No. Hope that helps. Glenn