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Ontario to make it mandatory for salaries to be disclosed in job postings

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It will soon be mandatory for Ontario employers to disclose wages or a salary range on job postings.

The proposal is part of new legislation meant to increase transparency for job seekers. The new “Working for Workers” legislation will be tabled when MPPs return to Queen’s Park the week of Nov. 14.

“When worker salaries are kept secret, there's only one beneficiary and that's businesses,” Labour Minister David Piccini told CTV News Toronto last week. “How many times have people applied for jobs just to find out at the end of the process that it's nowhere near the salary range they were looking for?”

Piccini said that details regarding the salary range requirements will be worked out after a consultation period, although he is aware that if the range is too broad, there will continue to be a lack of transparency.

The minister also hinted the government may start with salaries under $100,000 a year.

“I think if you're looking under $100,000 a year, they want to know,” he said.

“It's working class workers who don't earn six-figure salaries, they want to know what those ranges are as they take that exciting next step to apply for a job to get a better job and a bigger paycheque.”

Ontario isn’t the only province to mandate wage disclosures. British Columbia announced earlier this year that it would be requiring employers to include wage or salary information in job postings. It’s legislation also prohibits employers from asking job seekers for their pay history.

A 2022 report from the International Labour Organization found that pay transparency policies can help reveal wage disparities between demographic groups. A number of cities in the United States have also required employers to list a salary range on job postings as a result.

ARE EMPLOYERS USING AI FOR HIRING?

The Ontario legislation will also require businesses to inform job seekers if artificial intelligence (AI) is being used in the hiring process, something that Piccini says is an “increasing reality” of the workplace.

AI is sometimes used by companies and recruiters to screen candidates and analyze resumes or job applications. According to Statistics Canada, seven per cent of businesses in Ontario as of February were planning to adopt AI in the next year.

The minister said there have been concerns about inherent biases being exacerbated by technology, as well as privacy fears. However he also noted that studies have shown that AI can help tackle issues such as pay equity in the hiring process.

“Let's be transparent with workers in knowing that it's being used,” Piccini said.

This would make Ontario the first jurisdiction in Canada to mandate disclosures of AI use in hiring.

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