Fact Sheet #7b) and #7c) Communication and Accessibility of Policies and Processes

Level 2

Element: Communication and Consultation

Outcome 7: Anti-discrimination and employment equity principles are built into mainstream communications.

Indicator 7b): All staff and management have been provided documentation on organization’s policies and processes related to anti-discrimination and employment equity.

Indicator 7c): All human rights policies and processes are accessible to all employees on shared drive or in common areas.

Possible Measures and Data Sources:

  • Correspondence to staff communicating the location of relevant policies.
  • Evidence that the purpose of the Employment Equity Act (EEA), the measures taken and the progress achieved toward representation have been communicated.
  • Evidence that policy updates are communicated and accessible and are available in alternative formats, upon request.
  • Most recent version of organizational policies and procedures readily available to all.

Indicator Description

It is expected that decision makers demonstrate transparency in their actions and decisions by ensuring that staff and management have access to policies and processes related to anti-discrimination and employment equity (EE) (See Fact Sheet 9a). It is also important that all people in positions of authority are familiar with them, have assimilated their content, and are able to apply them in a timely manner. Employees are part of the initial distribution, however they do not have the same responsibilities as decision makers to be familiar with them. They may chose to consult them at a later date when an issue is raised that affects them. For this reason, it is wise to ensure that policies and processes  are easily accessible at all times so people can consult them to make decisions about issues affecting them.

At Level 1, the organization broadcasts messages that shows its support for human rights (anti-discrimination and EE). It has consulted with staff to develop policies and processes to meet the needs of the organization. At Level 2, it ensures that policies and processes are easy to locate, up to date and available in formats that meet the needs of readers.

For example, the organization sends an email to all employees containing links to policies and processes that they can consult.

Suggested Approach

  • Be timely: Distributing information in a timely manner is an effective way to meet the needs and expectations of employees. Timely and widespread distribution will allow  employees to participate in discussions and allow them to implement processes  and make decisions.
  • Be transparent: Access to policies and processes that is transparent promotes a culture of accountability and wellness. Information on human rights and actions taken with respect to representation must be accessible at all times. 
  • Use technology: Computer technology and the Internet provide access to a wide variety of information. To create a culture change, it becomes necessary to ensure that people have access to the information and that the quality of the information can be trusted.

Promising Practices

  • Management meetings: An organization has taken advantage of management meetings to inform managers of the location of these policies. The organization also requested that managers become familiar with these policies as soon as possible.
  • Pamphlets: A department has distributed pamphlets in which links are provided to the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA), the Employment Equity Act (EEA), and to policies and guidelines.
  • Links: The organization has posted links to its policies and procedures on all bulletin boards, making the information available to all employees, regardless of their shifts.
  • Conferences: During a conference on racism and racial discrimination, a department took advantage of the opportunity to distribute links to its policies.
  • Website: Several organizations have chosen to disclose their policies and practices on their website. This approach allows internal and external transparency.

Useful Tools and Links

Employment Equity Act

Canadian Human Rights Act

Appropriate Language Lexicon - Canadian Human Rights Commission

Communications Policy of the Government of Canada - Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

References

Access by Design The 7 Fundamental Principles - AbB

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