Salary History - Helping To Close The Gap.

Legal News & Analysis - Asia Pacific - Labour & Employment

8 May, 2019


In our global gender pay gap thought leadership series, we’ve highlighted the numerous ways governments around the world are taking actions aimed at closing the gap. 


Outside of the US, we have not seen comparable efforts to prohibit salary history inquiries, with the notable exception of legislation in Canada. Ontario’s Pay Transparency Act proposes requirements concerning disclosure of compensation particulars of employees and prospective employees. In addition, and among other things, the Act would prohibit employers from asking candidates about their compensation history, whether personally or through an agent, with few exceptions. However, for now, the law is not in effect – it is currently on hold to allow the government to engage in public consultations. (Read more HERE.)


Efforts to close the gender pay gap outside the US have focused primarily on transparency and representation. The UK and Australian governments have recently focused their efforts on representation and the gender pay gap, requiring employers publish data about the difference in average pay between men and women. In the UK, gender pay gap data is made available for public use, whereas in Australia the government publishes aggregated pay gap data from which individual companies cannot be identified. Other countries across Europe have also recently introduced pay transparency legislation (e.g. Germany and France). (Ireland and Spain are also considering similar legislation.)




In “no ask” jurisdictions, it is recommended that employers:


  • Remove all salary questions from hiring forms (including job applications, candidate questionnaires, and background check forms);
  • Update interviewing and negotiating policies and procedures;
  • Train recruiters, hiring managers and interviewers regarding the importance of ensuring that applicants are not pressured (even indirectly) to disclose salary history.


It is further recommended that employers adopt a uniform practice that complies with the strictest “no ask” jurisdiction in which the employer operates. A uniform practice will help to avoid non-compliance.


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Baker McKenzie


For further information, please contact: 


Todd K. Boyer, Partner, Baker & McKenzie