Is your business registered in Quebec? If so, recent changes to the Pay Equity Act may affect you.

Revisions made to the Pay Equity Act in April 2019 came into effect in October 2019. These changes may affect your responsibilities as an employer if your business is registered in Quebec.

DEMES Reporting

DEMES (Declaration of the Employer in Matters of Pay Equity) is a mandatory report required by the Government of Quebec from Quebec employers with 11 or more employees. An ongoing accountability tool, DEMES communicates the level of pay equity advancement within a company, and is separate from any required pay equity exercise or audit.

DEMES Timing

Quebec employers have been required to file DEMES annually since the Declaration requirement came into effect in 2011, but the Regulation respecting DEMES timing has now changed.

Rather than requiring DEMES to be completed each year, the Regulation now requires employers to only produce the report annually until they have completed an initial pay equity exercise in their company. Subsequently, they only need to produce a DEMES report every five years as part of their required pay equity audit.

Information required to complete the DEMES

DEMES is completed by filling out an online form. In order to produce a DEMES you need to provide:

  • your Québec enterprise number (NEQ)
  • your business sector number
  • the start date of your business operations
  • the number of employees in your company (according to the calculation method provided for by the Pay Equity Act)
  • the posting date of your pay equity exercise results, if applicable
  • the posting date of your pay equity assessment results, if applicable.

Liability

It’s important to note that the production of DEMES is a legal obligation. An employer who fails or refuses to file DEMES can be fined anywhere from $1,000 to $45,000 under section 115 of the Pay Equity Act.

For additional information on changes to the Pay Equity Act in Quebec, please visit http://www.demes.gouv.qc.ca.