Federal pay-equity commissioner reappointed, but new national law still not in force

OTTAWA — Canada's first national pay-equity commissioner is having her term extended amid delays getting new pay-equity legislation into action.

Karen Jensen was appointed a year ago to the Canadian Human Rights Commission with a mandate to help establish a new pay-equity division in preparation for the new law to take effect in 2020.

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Regulations needed to put the act to work are still in development, delaying its implementation and requiring an adjustment to extend Jensen's term.

A right to equal pay for equal work was enshrined in the Canadian Human Rights Act in 1977 but a national law to require federally regulated employers to actively pursue pay equity did not get passed until December 2018.

Jensen is to help employers implement the needed changes, ensure workers know their rights and help resolve disputes.

On average in Canada, women earn 12 per cent less than men, the third largest gender pay gap among G7 countries and the seventh largest in the OECD.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 18, 2020.

© Virden Empire-Advance

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