Would you agree to your salary being public?

At a certain age, the signs multiply that we no longer quite follow the parade.

Would you agree to your salary being public?

At a certain age, the signs multiply that we no longer quite follow the parade. My attempts to engage with TikTok, for example, are a complete waste of time. I dropped. And when the escapades of a renowned influencer make their way into the news, it's as if the news came to me from Timbuktu.

A recent story from the business pages of La Presse gave me the same feeling of being overwhelmed. A young company, led by a young entrepreneur, decided to display the pay of all its employees to ensure better pay equity.

I just got over my embarrassment about hanging my underwear on the clothesline, but I'm still not comfortable with the idea of ​​having my salary exposed on my employer's intranet.

I am lagging behind, I said, because in my opinion salaries are a matter of the private sphere while transparency on the issue is becoming a trend that is set to gain momentum.

Surveys have shown that such practices actually help to reduce pay gaps. Equity, can we really get in the way of this principle today, even in the name of modesty and confidentiality?

Fortunately, this objective seems attainable without knowing the color of the panties of his colleagues.

A new Canadian law

Here, Canada just threw the final milestone on its Employment Equity Act.

As of last Wednesday, June 1, federally regulated private sector employers must disclose in an annual report the wage gaps that affect women, members of visible communities, persons with disabilities and Indigenous peoples. We are talking about aggregated data here, so individual information remains confidential.

Among the companies concerned are, among others, banks, air carriers, federal crown corporations, telecoms. These employers will be required to disclose wage differentials between hourly rates, bonus differentials, overtime pay differentials, and overtime hours worked differentials.

It will be embarrassing to publicize significant wage disparities between specific groups. The new federal requirements will likely reveal injustices, aggrieved workers will find the arguments to demand upgrades. That's the point.

It may include large, highly visible organizations, but only a small proportion of private sector jobs are affected. However, other large companies that escape federal regulation may feel the need to follow suit, which in turn will be imitated by smaller companies.

Pay transparency is one of the hot topics in the world of human resources. This is what led a trendy SME to push the concept as far as disclosing the remuneration of each individual.

Towards clear remuneration principles

Marc Chartrand, like me, finds it exaggerated.

He is no longer a youth either, it must be said. The human resources adviser (CRHA) remembers Nortel, more than 20 years ago, having implemented a policy like, "when the money flowed like water". Apparently it didn't seem like a good idea the day the boat started to take on water.

To be transparent, companies do not need to reveal how much everyone earns, according to the expert, nor to make reports as required by the federal government to companies under jurisdiction.

"In fact, you must communicate your salary scales to employees, detail the principles behind the awarding of bonuses and explain the expectations of the organization to receive better compensation", lists the specialist.

It's easier said than done, recognizes Marc Chartrand. To communicate its policy, it is always necessary to have one. Among SMEs, it is rather improvisation, which generates inconsistencies and disparities. It is long and painful for them to restore order.

Even in better organized companies, this is a challenge, particularly in a context of labor shortages.

“Sometimes, to fill a position, a contractor has no choice but to pay $10,000 more than the top of his ladder, which creates an inequity for employees with seniority. »

A company that does things well would manage to raise the salary scale and bring the old ones up to speed, and this, quickly (12 to 24 months), according to Marc Chartrand.

This is why pay transparency is more often a hobby of HR than of bosses...


Have you noticed the formulas used to describe compensation in job postings? How to say... it's vague. "Competitive salary", "based on experience", "in line with market", "beneficial". Result: it is only at the end of the hiring process that we will know how much we will be paid!

Some jurisdictions now require employers to list a pay scale in their job postings. In Canada, the first province to do so is Prince Edward Island, and has been since June 1. Let's see if the idea will take off.