The federal government says legislation meant to help close the gender wage gap will come into effect on Aug. 31 and be phased in over the next three years.

The Pay Equity Act requires federally regulated employers to ensure workers receive equal pay for work of equal value and is meant to help women get fair compensation for their labour. According to Statistics Canada’s latest data, for every dollar earned by a man, a woman earns 89 cents.

Read: ‘Substantial’ gender wage gap persists in Canada: study

Once the act comes into effect, employers with 10 or more staff will have three years to develop and implement proactive pay equity plans. The plan must involve studying whether work done primarily by women receives pay equal to work done by men, making adjustments to ensure there’s wage equity and posting plans for staff to see by August 2024. Employers are also required to revise and update their plan at a minimum of every five years, to ensure that no gaps have been reintroduced.

Karen Jensen, pay equity commissioner, will be able to levy $30,000 fines for employers with up to 99 staff that don’t comply and $50,000 fines for those with larger workforces.