A re-elected Liberal Government will impose pay equity upon local governments and organizations in the quasi-public sector by 2020, and to large businesses in the private sector by 2022.
Gallant specified that local governments and quasi-public organizations such as universities and nursing homes will be required to comply with the new pay equity legislation by 2020, and that large businesses with 50 or more employees will be required to comply by 2022.
In extending pay equity legislation to all parts of government in its previous mandate, the Gallant Government helped New Brunswick achieve the second lowest gender wage gap in Canada in 2017.
New Brunswick brought forward the Pay Equity Act in 2009 which applies pay equity to parts I, II, III and IV of government. An amended Act could follow the same process as the original 2009 Act, which mandated the following:
- Within 12 months of the commencement of the Act, employees and employers would endeavour to determine the criteria and process;
- Within 24 months of the commencement of the Act, employees and employers would endeavour to implement the process and determine the measures to implement pay equity.
Earlier in this campaign, Gallant announced that a re-elected Liberal Government will expand the women’s equality branch to a department of women’s equality with more staff and its own budget. Gallant also committed to providing subsidized training to small-business owners on ways to promote more diverse and gender-equitable workplaces, as well as to maintaining gender parity in government-controlled appointments to agencies, boards, and commissions.
The Gallant Government recognizes the significant societal and economic impacts that can be achieved through the advancement of women’s equality. While much remains to be done, over the past four years the Gallant Government has:
- Extended pay equity throughout the provincial government, including to all Crown corporations, with a view to complete its application by the end of 2018;
- Launched various programs to incentivize the private sector to fully adopt pay equity;
- Amended the formula for public financing of political parties so votes received by female candidates are weighted 1.5 times greater than votes received by male candidates;
- Appointed 390 women to provincial agencies, boards and commissions, representing 56 percent of all appointments and achieving province-wide parity on these bodies;
- Achieved gender-parity on New Brunswick’s provincial court for the first time in history;
- Implemented a series of laws and measures aimed at preventing and responding to violence against women, such as providing additional funding for transition houses, introducing the Intimate Partner Violence Intervention Act, and making amendments to the Employment Standards Act to provide paid leave for victims of domestic, intimate partner or sexual violence.
- Eliminated barriers to access reproductive health, such as introducing midwifery, eliminating the two-doctor rule, and providing free access to Mifegymiso.