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Pay equity

Pay equity is the right of workers in a typically female job to receive a wage equal to that of a person in a typically male job of equivalent value in the same company.

Wages for predominantly female jobs may have been undervalued due to gender discrimination. The purpose of the Loi sur l’équité salariale is to correct differences in pay caused by this type of discrimination within a company.

What is a typically female or typically male job?

A typically female job, such as secretary, receptionist, cashier or nurse, is traditionally or predominantly held by women. 

A typical male job, such as mechanic, janitor, delivery driver or grocery clerk, is traditionally or predominantly held by men.

Pay equality and pay equity: the difference

Pay equality requires equal pay for equal work. When 2 people do the same job, have the same number of years of seniority and equal performance, they must receive the same pay. 

Pay equity goes further. It requires that people in a typically female job receive a wage equal to those in a typically male job  of the same value within a company. For example, in a factory, an administrative assistant’s job (typically female job) could have the same value as a machinist’s job (typically male job ). The remuneration offered should be the same for both jobs.

Who does the Loi sur l’équité salariale apply to?


The Act applies to companies with an average of 10 or more workers, whether they are in the private, public or parapublic sector or not-for-profit. They have obligations (in French only). 

Companies with fewer than 10 workers do not have to do pay equity work. They must still comply with pay equity as set out in the Charte des droits et libertés de la personne.  

The Act does not apply to companies under federal jurisdiction (in French only).


It is mainly workers in a job generally held by women who are targeted. It is these people who will benefit from the correction of differences in pay (in French only).

Laws and regulations

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