Pay Equity Laws in Canada

Canada has 14 distinct legal jurisdictions that govern the employment relationship, including management of pay equity. Depending on the nature of the business you are in, the requirements as an employer may either be governed by federal or provincial/territorial pay equity laws. The majority of pay equity laws apply to the public sector and we have highlighted some of the key pay equity laws for private employers with more than 10 employees in Ontario and Quebec.

Pay equity may also be part of a discrimination complaint under human rights laws, and is a complex subject. We’re here to help with some key best practices and overviews.


In Canada, about 6% of employers are federally regulated and these businesses include international and interprovincial businesses such as trucking and shipping, as well as banks, telecommunications and a number of others. The laws relating to pay equity apply to these federal businesses even if they are scattered throughout each province or territory in Canada. See the links below for information relating to pay equity requirements.

Provinces and Territories

There is pay equity law in every other jurisdiction in Canada that applies to public sector employers - in each province and territory within Canada that set out legal requirements that an employer must follow throughout the employee life cycle from recruitment through to retirement or termination of employment. Please visit the resources to find information relating to these laws impacting pay equity in your province. Private employers with 10 or more employees in Ontario and Quebec will need to pay particular attention to the pay equity laws in those provinces.

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland
  • Nova Scotia
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nunavut
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
  • Yukon