Fact Sheet #12a) Specific Human Rights Training

Level 2

Element: Capacity Building and Resources

Outcome 12: Organization has adequate capacity andresources to address Level 2 outcomes of each element.

Indicator 12a): Human rights training is tailored to the specific roles and responsibilities of staff.

Possible Measures and Data Sources:

  • Percentage of managers trained on the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) and the Employment Equity Act (EEA).
  • All dedicated resource persons provided with x number of specialized human rights training sessions (e.g., T4T, anti-discrimination and employment equity training).
  • Percentage of employees trained on the CHRA and the EEA.
  • Survey on the level of awareness of staff.

Indicator Description

Commitment to human rights from senior leadership in an organization is crucial to creating a human rights culture in the workplace. It is therefore vital that senior leadership of the organization have a working knowledge of the principal requirements of the CHRA and the EEA in order to create a self-sustaining human rights culture. Senior leadership will also ensure that the organization provides training on these fundamental requirements to all employees.

At Level 2 of the Human Rights Maturity Model (the Model), senior leadership will receive specialized human rights training sessions, building on the knowledge they received at Level 1. Employees will receive training that is tailored to their specific roles and responsibilities with regard to the obligations and duties imposed on the organization by the CHRA and the EEA. 

Suggested Approach

Training on the following various topics should be provided by subject matter experts, with a minimum of a half-day of instruction time for each participant.

  • The training for senior leadership should cover the following concepts:
    • CHRA-specific:
      • The Duty to Accommodate: legislation, grounds-specific issues, undue hardship, accommodation process, policies, and roles, bona fide occupational requirements (BFORs) and bona fide justifications (BFJs).
      • Harassment Prevention in the Workplace: employers’ and employees’ roles and responsibilities, forms of harassment, legal requirements, communication skills, supporting diversity, interview phases, how to create a respectful workplace.
      • Anti-Racism: Strategy for a Racism-Free Workplace, Cultural Profiles Project, CHRC Discrimination Prevention Program.
      • Cultural Sensitivity Awareness /Anti-Discrimination: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, challenging assumptions, cultural landscapes, diversity portrait – Canada’s changing ethno-cultural demographics.
      • Managing the Return to Work: key legal principles, step-by-step guidelines, case studies.
      • Competencies for the Management of Diversity: guiding principles for leadership training, a multi-dimensional planning framework, policies and programs that frame diversity, teaching and learning about change, the role of the change agent.
      • Listing of resources, publications, websites, etc. for further information.
    • EEA-specific:
      • Recruitment, hiring, and integration strategies: Integrating employment equity principles within this process.
      • Employment Systems Review: Legal Framework, Assessment Factors, Assessing Compliance.
      • The Audit Process in Detail: notification, audit questionnaire, verification, reporting, undertakings.
      • Annual reporting requirements to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada: Preparation of an annual employment equity plan, workforce analysis to monitor representation, identification and elimination of barriers to employment, creation and institution of positive policies and practices to achieve representation.
      • Special programs: plans or arrangements, legislation, recommendations, objectives, available assistance.
      • Workforce survey: Data collection, analysis, planning.
      • Listing of resources, publications, websites, etc. for further information.
  • The training for managers should cover the following concepts:
    • Principle of hierarchy of laws in Canada, supremacy of the Charter and human rights legislation, concurrent jurisdiction:
      • Sections 15 (no discrimination) and 1 (notwithstanding clause) of the Charter.
      • Overview of the CHRA and the EEA – when proclaimed, basic summary of bodies created, protections, scope.
      • Explanation of distinction between the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) – roles, powers, functions, authorities, with respect to both Acts.
      • CHRC’s mandate under the CHRA and the EEA.
      • Explanation of difference between Federal and Provincial jurisdiction, listing of industries under Federal jurisdiction, explanation of organizations subject to the EEA.
      • Section 2 - purpose of each of the Acts, principle of “purposive interpretation”.
    • CHRA-specific: 
      • Listing and description of the 11 prohibited grounds.
      • Listing and description of 9 discriminatory practices.
      • Definition and examples of discrimination, harassment, and duty to accommodate.
      • Statistical information on complaints accepted by the CHRC.
      • Information on what constitutes a complaint, who can file a complaint, what components are necessary for a complaint to be accepted, and examples of accepted complaints.
      • Description of the complaint process at the CHRC.
      • Description of the early resolution process at the CHRC.
      • Description of the process, mandate, and remedies of the CHRT.
      • Description of the appeal rights available for CHRC and CHRT decisions.
      • Listing of resources, publications, websites, etc. for further information.
    • EEA-specific: 
      • Listing and definitions of the 4 designated groups.
      • Description of the employers to which the EEA applies.
      • Description of employer’s duty under s. 5 to implement employment equity, and the limit of its duty under s. 6 (undue hardship).
      • Description of employer’s duty under s. 9 to conduct an analysis of its workforce, identify barriers to employment of the designated groups, and (s.10) create an employment equity plan to correct under representation of designated group members  identified in its analysis.
      • Description of the employer’s duty to develop short-term and long-term goals to reach representation, and a monitoring and evaluation process.
      • Description of annual reporting requirements.
      • Description of the CHRC’s duty to conduct compliance audits of employers to enforce the obligations imposed on employers by sections 5, 9-15, and 17 of the EEA.
      • Description of Compliance Officer powers to collect information.
      • Description of employment equity audit process, including remedies proscribed for non-compliance (employer’s written undertaking, Commission direction to employer, Court order, monetary penalties).
      • Statistical information on audits conducted by the CHRC.
      • Deadlines and operating procedures of the CHRC with respect to employment equity.
      • Listing of resources, publications, websites, etc. for further information.
  • The training for employees dealing specifically with human rights issues should cover the following concepts:
    • Overview of the CHRA and the EEA.
    • CHRC’s mandate under the CHRA and the EEA.
    • CHRA-specific: 
      • Universal design and accessibility: Seven principles - equitable use, flexibility in use, simple and intuitive, perceptible information, tolerance for error, low physical effort, size and space.
      • Workplace ergonomics: office, environment, personal computer.
      • Alternative and accessible formats: braille, large print, audio tapes, compact disk, electronic files.
      • Organizational support for disability accommodation.
      • Strategic planning.
      • Alternative work arrangements (telework, flexible hours, modified workspace, modified work tools).
      • Organizational behavior: system approach - human, organizational, and social objectives.
      • Human rights Investigations: complaint process, section 41 issues, proof required for claims of discrimination, investigation plan and sources, the CHRC’s investigation criteria, effective information gathering, drafting an investigation report.
    • EEA-specific:
      • Documentation required to meet the 9 statutory requirements under the EEA.
      • How to navigate HRSDC’s and Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s databases for demographic equity representation data.
  • The training for employees not dealing specifically with human rights issues should cover the following concepts:
    • Overview of the CHRA and the EEA.
    • CHRA-specific
    • Listing and description of the 11 prohibited grounds and the 9 discriminatory practices.
    • Definition and examples of discrimination, harassment, and duty to accommodate.
    • Listing of resources, publications, websites, etc. for further information.
    • EEA-specific:
      • Listing and definitions of the 4 designated groups.
      • Description of the employers to which the EEA applies.
      • Listing of resources, publications, websites, etc. for further information.

Promising Practices

  • Incorporating human rights training into employees’ individual learning plans.
  • Providing training to employees on the organization’s internal. diversity/accommodation/anti-discrimination/anti-harassment policies during the orientation session for new employees.
  • Including the management of diversity as part of the core curriculum for training and development of senior managers.
  • Ensuring that follow-up on human rights trainingis carried out on the organization’s intranet system.
  • Celebrating cultural events and ask employees from different national or ethnic origins to share their culture with the organization.
  • Holding discussion groups to raise awareness and understanding among employees of the organization’s employment equity objectives.
  • Canvassing employees on the best ways to achieve your organization’s projected employment equity goals.
  • Emphasizing the importance of the process of promoting change in facilitating the goal of promoting diversity.

Useful links and tools

Canadian Human Rights Commission

Employment Equity Act

Canadian Human Rights Act

Anti-Harassment Policies for the Workplace - Canadian Human Rights Commission

Bona Fide Occupational Requirements and Bona Fide Occupational Justifications under the Canadian Human Rights Act - Canadian Human Rights Commission

Duty to Accommodate Fact Sheet - Canadian Human Rights Commission

Framework for Compliance Audits Under the Employment Equity Act - Canadian Human Rights Commission

Employment Systems Review: Guide to the Audit Process - Canadian Human Rights Commission

A Guide for Managing the Return to Work- Canadian Human Rights Commission

Your Guide to Understand the Canadian Human Rights Act - Canadian Human Rights Commission

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights - The United Nations

Strategy for a Racism-Free Workplace - Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

References

UN Global compact Business Leaders Initiative on Human Rights “A Guide for Integrating Human Rights into Business Management”

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