Quebec was the first Canadian jurisdiction to legislate on pay equality. It did so through the adoption of the Charter of Rights and Freedom, in 1976, a passive legislation since it is based on complaints. It seems to be a matter of time before the Quebec Government passes a pro‐active legislation on pay equity and, in doing so, it will likely draw its inspiration from the Pay Equity Act (PEA) passed by the Ontario Government in 1987. One of PEAs important features is the emphasis on institutional structures and practices in determining the appropriate unit for the purpose of achieving pay equity. In practice, such units will often match up with the usual job families (e.g. clerical or office vs production jobs). However, the historical development of jobs families is intertwined with the evolution of occupational segregation between men and women in the labour markets.
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