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Ontario has quietly stalled the implementation of legislation that aimed to increase pay transparency in the province, prompting some critics to suggest the government is looking for savings at the expense of women.

In a fiscal update presented last week, the Progressive Conservative government says the legislation, which was set to take effect Jan. 1, will now kick in on a day to be proclaimed by the lieutenant governor.

The government did not immediately respond when asked to explain the decision Wednesday.

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The law was passed just before the spring election by the previous Liberal regime, which said it aimed to tackle wage inequality between men and women. The province said at the time that the wage gap between women and men ranged between 12 per cent to 29 per cent depending on the workplace.

The legislation requires all publicly advertised job postings to include a salary rate or range, bars employers from asking about past compensation and prohibits reprisal against employees who do discuss or disclose compensation.

It also creates a system that requires large employers to track and report compensation gaps based on gender and other diversity characteristics, and share the information with the province. Companies could face fines if they do not comply.

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