pay equity in canada

Pay Equity: Staying Complaint

Pay Equity is based on the value of work provided regardless of gender. The work often refers to of equal duties or comparable value to company.
In 1977 the Canadian Human Rights Act includes a section that makes it a discriminatory practice for an employer to “establish or maintain differences in wages between male and female employees employed in the same establishment who are performing work of equal value”.

A major component to ensure compliance in Pay Equity is to understand how to conduct Job Evaluations. The HR Council of Canada defines job evaluation as “the systematic process for accessing the relative worth of jobs within an organization”.

– Ontario and Quebec employers with 10 of more employees must adhere to the pay equity compliance
– A Pay Equity Plan and report must be filed with the Ontario government each year
– Ontario Pay Equity Act established in 1987, Quebec Charter established in 1978 and Canadian Human Rights established in 1977 can be used as references

How to stay complaint:
– Group your job role/titles into classes that are similar in duties, responsibilities and qualifications
– Determine the job rates using the highest and lowest salaries in the group
– Conduct a job evaluation and analysis based on each employee in each job class
– Make your adjustments and document the changes

HRPA Closing the Gender Wage Gap – a great article employers and HR professional should review

ADP fact sheet about Pay Equity in Ontario

Job Evaluation article posted by Hays Group provides useful resources to help you with this process.

taxes on bonus pay

Bonus Pay: How to properly calculated the taxes

It’s quite common for your payroll service provider to have problems with this tax. We have experience a number of reputable companies that did not have the engine built to calculate Bonus payments properly. It is your responsibility to ensure the bonus calculations are accurate to the best of your abilities.

Result of incorrect taxing on bonuses:
– employee being unhappy when filing taxes. They end of paying more instead of getting a refund.
– employers responsible for paying the CPP and EI company portions
– employers responsible for paying the all the taxes for the bonus because the employee has left and you cannot recoup the amounts.
– CRA PIER audit can be triggered which cases more headaches
– possible further audits going years back if suspected of not handling bonuses properly which amounts to much more time and money spent

A general rule to understand: CRA considers these payments as being an increase to your pay rate. Taxes are calculated on your pay rates.

Another key note: This special tax calculation is also use for irregular payments like retro pay. Review these other payment types here.

Calculating CPP on Bonuses:
The difference in calculating CPP on bonuses than a regular payment is the CPP basic exemption. You do not take the basic exemption of $3500/year (as of 2018) in consideration. Therefore take the taxable amount of the bonus (Pensionable amount) by the CPP contribution rate (4.95% as of 2018). Also provide the employer matching amount.

If the employee is exempt or has reached his maximum contribution for the year, you can ignore calculating CPP.

Calculating EI on Bonuses:
Calculating EI is exactly the same. Multiply the EI rate by the taxable amount of the bonus (Insurable Earnings). Also provide the employer contribution amount.

If the employee is exempt of has reach his maximum for the year, you can ignore calculating EI.

Calculating Income Taxes on Bonuses:

Total taxable income is less or equal to $5000
If the total the taxable income and the bonus year to date is $5,000 or less use 15% tax (10% in Quebec) for the bonus payment.

Total taxable income is greater than $5000
There are 2 bonus tax methods listed (one-time bonus or more than one bonus), however understand the concept is the same. Whether is one bonus or 52 bonuses a year, you have to include all bonus amounts year-to-date when calculating the taxes.

The employee regularly gets $1500 salary per cheque. An now you’re paying the employee $1000 bonus.

Let’s say you are bi-weekly pay with 26 pay periods a year. Take the amount of the bonus divided by the number of periods in the year = $38.46 ($1000 / 26) This now is added to the regular salary amount = $1538.46.

Calculate the taxes on $1538.46 = $211.58 (assuming using claim code 1 with no pre-tax deductions, or taxable benefits in Ontario)

Calculate the taxes on the regular salary amount $1500 (you can refer to last pay run) = $204.38 (assuming using claim code 1 with no pre-tax deductions, or taxable benefits in Ontario)

Subtract the difference = $7.20 (211.58 – 204.38)

Annualize the taxes per year: $7.20 multiple by 26 pay period = $187.20

Regular Taxes = $204.38, Bonus Taxes = $187.20 Total Taxes Paid = $391.58

CRA provides good information here on how to calculate bonus taxes

bill 148 esa ontario changes

Bill 148: The impact to your business starting January 2018

Bill 148 will have significant changes to your business effective on January 1st, 2018. You should be aware of these changes as well as be in a position to help assist your HR department and employee managers with any questions that might come up from your work force. You should also engage your HRIS / Payroll Service partners on how to prepare and incorporate these changes for the new year.

The reforms to the Employment Standards Act (ESA) applies to Ontario. Some key highlights are below:
Minimum wage increase

  • $14.00 per hour in January 2018
  • $15.00 per hour in January 2019

Stat Holiday Pay

  • Changes to the way holiday pay is calculated
    • Holiday pay is equal to the total wages earned in the prior period before the holiday / number of worked days during the pay period with the holiday (current period)
  • You must provide documented or written agreement to the employee if you require them to work on the holiday. Additional details include the day the employee will take as a substitute, communication date and agreement.


  • Employees now with 5 or more years of service must receive at a minimum 3 weeks’ vacation. Equivalent of 6% of employee’s wages.

Leave of Absence

  • There are new categories in effect that provides additional time off listed below:
    • Death of a child – up to 104 weeks
    • Crime-related disappearance of a child – up to 104 weeks
    • Domestic or Sexual Violence of employee or child – up to 10 days paid, additional 15 weeks unpaid
    • Maternity or miscarriage or stillbirth – up to 12 weeks (prior was 6 weeks)
    • Parental – 35 up to 61 weeks (for a parent who has taken maternity already), 37 up to 63 for other
    • Family Medical – 8 up to 27 weeks
    • Personal Emergency – 2 days paid, up to 10 days in total


  • The Employee is entitled for a minimum of 3 hours regular pay for any Schedule shift cancellations or sent home early for any circumstances beyond your control such as storms, outages etc…
  • On call employees must be paid a minimum of 3 hours regular pay regardless if they have worked or not
  • If you cancel a shift and only provide the employee less than 48 hours (4 days) of notice before the start of the shift you must pay 3 hours regular pay
  • The employee can decline work if you have requested them to work 96 hours (8 days) before the shift start

Detailed Records

  • You now have to track the dates and times employees:
    • Work
    • Was schedule to work
    • On call
    • Scheduled shift cancellations

In summary, with Bill 148, the Ontario government is looking help promote a better work life balance. Changes will give employees better flexibility, however, might have some negative impacts at the company level. As an Ontario business, you should evaluate these changes and how to incorporate them in day-to-day operations.
Details and debates on Bill 148 are available on the Legislative Assembly of Ontario website here.