Equal Employment Opportunities

Any organization or business that is regulated by the federal government has a legal obligation to comply with the Employment Equity Act and provide equal employment opportunities to four designated groups:  women, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, and members of visible minorities.

The Commission’s Role

The Canadian Human Rights Commission conducts audits to determine if employers are meeting their legal obligations to offer equal employment opportunities to four designated groups : women, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities.

In certain organizations, if representation of the four designated groups is lower than market availability in a specific industry, employers must implement practices that to demonstrate they are doing all they can to achieve equality in the workplace and fill gaps in representation.

Above all, employment equity is a matter of dignity. It offers everyone an opportunity to work and contribute to society. At the same time, employers benefit from a diversified and competent workforce, one that promotes inclusion in the work place.

Horizontal auditing - A new approach

For the past several years, the Commission has worked to ensure that federal employers have fair representation of the four designated groups in their workforce.

The Commission is now preparing a new audit methodology. Effective December 2017, we will apply a new auditing concept — a horizontal auditing process. This means that we will audit several organizations at once, looking at a specific issue. For example, we might look at how well Indigenous people are represented within the banking industry or how well persons with disabilities are represented in the transportation industry. This approach will allow us to have a better understanding of what areas in Canada’s workforce are in most need of diversification.