Fact Sheet #21b) Human Rights and Employment Equity Tools

Level 3

Element: Capacity Building and Resources

Outcome 21: Organization has adequate capacity and resources to address Level 3 outcomes of each element.

Indicator 21b): Organization has tools and resources to implement its employment equity plan and to foster an environment free from discrimination.

Possible Measures and Data Sources:

  • Inclusion of employment equity (EE) and human rights in the business plan.
  • Resources in place for the Human Rights/EE Committee.
  • Funds for inclusion of questions on human rights in regular surveys.
  • Multi-level approach to human rights expenditures and resources (i.e., allocated at local, regional and national levels).
  • Mentorship program related to human rights.
  • Network of human rights practitioners.
  • Accommodations and accessibility measures budget line.
  • Resources available for external consultations/partnerships.

Description of the Indicator

The organization is adopting a systemic approach with the tools needed to implement its employment equity plan and advance a mature human rights environment free from discrimination. Financial and human resources are therefore being allocated so that it can take action to rectify persistent shortcomings with respect to its employment equity plan and complaint management and prevention. Implementation is at multiple levels, covering all of the organization’s employees, clients and potential employees. The motto is “Walk the Talk.” 

At Levels 1 and 2, resources have been allocated to a variety of activities to develop knowledge and skills in the area of human rights and employment equity among senior management, human resources staff, managers, unions and any other association that plays a significant role in corporate leadership. Importance was placed on developing the required infrastructure.

At Level 3, the entire organization’s business plans are being oriented to integrate employment equity and human rights. Additional resources at that level should allow the organization to take a more proactive stance with its workforce and in its client approach. Capacity building should reflect that stance, by raising awareness among all employees and developing greater intervention capacity in prevention for more specialized staff. Consultation outside the organization is also a resource that should be considered both in implementing the organization’s business plans and in establishing a new corporate image reflective of diversity.

For example, the organization may decide to expand the necessary funding to be able to follow up on accommodation requests for members of the four designated groups, employees or clients who have special needs under the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA). Budgets are also available so that the organization can accommodate any special needs from potential candidates during selection processes. It will then be easier for the organization to recruit and retain members of its staff who require accommodation. If there are measures that need to be taken to make the organization’s facilities accessible, those measures are undertaken immediately.

Suggested Approach

  • Include employment equity and human rights in the business plan:
    • Senior management subscribes to the principles of employment equity and is prepared to take the steps required to implement a business culture that reflects its commitment. When new policies or procedures are under review managers ensure that they integrate human rights and employment equity.
    • The communications sector will have the budgets required to review its internal and external communication strategy and possibly recreate the organization’s corporate image so that diversity is an integral part of it.
  • Resources (financial, human and time) available for the Human Rights and Employment Equity Committee:
    • The organization has clearly identified the person responsible for employment equity. The organization consults employees and they are represented on the Employment Equity Committee. The committee is consulted at all decision-making levels of the organization and has sufficient resources to maintain its consultations with employees.
    • Funds are allocated to the Employment Equity Committee for organizing human rights and employment equity promotional activities. Members of the committee will be freed from some of their duties so that they can devote energy to promoting human rights and attending meetings of their practice networks. They will be given the opportunity to take courses or workshops to help them upgrade their training in the area of human rights and employment equity.
  • Funds available for including human rights questions in surveys:
    • The organization allocates the funds and human resources needed to collect data on its staff and to regularly update its databank.
  • Multi-level approach (local, regional and national) to human rights resources and spending:
    • The organization’s investment in human rights and employment equity is not restricted to human resources; rather, it is part and parcel of every level of the organization and of all its components. The organization ensures that all employees are heard and have access to human rights and employment equity training. It is therefore very important that all employees be open to questioning themselves to examine their beliefs and resistances, and that they demonstrate that willingness. Occasionally, it may be helpful to call on specialists to help the organization find the balance necessary to draw maximum benefit from the values of diversity it advocates.
    • The organization will implement prevention systems to minimize the number of human rights complaints.
  • Human rights mentoring programs:
    • The organization sees to it that members of designated groups are aware of and have access to mentoring programs. Managers who belong to one of the designated groups act as mentors. The organization thus demonstrates that its commitments are real and bear fruit.
  • Human rights practitioners’ network:
    • The organization acknowledges the importance of sharing the progress it has made within a network of human rights and employment equity specialists and benefitting from the experience and best practices of its peers. (See  Fact Sheet #29a))
  • Budgets for accommodation and accessibility measures:
    • The realization of the measures that were identified to eliminate barriers will create a greater capacity for accommodation in terms of both facilities and human resources management.
  • Resources available for consultations and partnerships: 
    • The organization has identified the external resources it can call on. 
    • Financial resources for hiring consultants and trainers are available to offer training and workshops to employees, based on needs identified in the organization to help with the integration of members of designated groups into the workforce.
    • Activities are provided for personnel to raise their awareness of human rights. Everyone is invited to become aware of their own diversity. The advantages of multicultural teams are highlighted in order to explore new ways of doing things within the organization.

Promising Practices

  • Innovate! Be inclusive and draw on the diversity of everyone’s ideas, perspectives, skills and experience to deal with familiar issues from a new perspective.
  • Help with the work-life balance by enabling employees to honour their commitments outside work by adjusting work schedules and encouraging telework, for example.
  • Show concern for diversity by encouraging qualified men, women, visible minorities, Aboriginals and persons with disabilities to apply for employment. Job postings will mention that the organization is looking for applications from members of designated groups and that accommodation is available on request, both during the staffing process and then on the job.
  • Encourage members of designated groups to act as mentors to their peers.
  • Create working groups to evaluate the results of initiatives taken as part of employment equity programs and assess the potential impact of new policies on members of designated groups.
  • Improve communications among the various groups of employees by organizing diversity days to offer everyone the opportunity to share information about their culture, their values, etc.
  • Ensure that accommodation policies are integrated into policies: For example, when replacing computer and telephone networks the organization will ensure that new equipment includes larger fonts, brighter lighting and enhanced sound.
  • Implement accommodation measures at meetings and conferences to encourage everyone to participate. 

Tools and Helpful Links

The Ontario Human Rights Commission web site offers numerous tools to support businesses

Work-life Balance: Making it work for your Business - New Zeland Department of Labour

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada offers helpful online guides and manuals:

Guide to Planning Inclusive Meetings - Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Rights, Respect and Dignity: Interface of Labour Standards and Human Rights (Beyond Sexual Harassment)

Guide to Violence Prevention in the Workplace 

Labour Focus Newsletter

Good Practices for Employers Covered by the Employment Equity Act 

Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities - Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Aboriginal Skills and Training Strategic Investment Fund 

Available Courses

CAMPUS DIRECT (Public Service of Canada):

·      C001E Act on Employment Equity: Expand Your Vision

·     C101E Diversity Leadership in Action

Professional Associations:

Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines et en relations industrielles agréés du Québec (Available in French only)

Canadian Council of Human Resource Associations


Other Resources:

Certain not-for-profit organizations offer programs and training to organizations wishing to develop a culture focused on human rights and conflict prevention. For example:

Created in 1988, the Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution is a not-for-profit organization. It offers conflict resolution and customized training courses.

Reference

Guide pratique de la gestion de la diversité interculturelle en emploi (Available in French only)

Vers une politique gouvernementale de lutte contre le racisme et la discrimination (Available in French only)

A Place for All: A Guide to Creating an Inclusive Workplace   

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