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Bias-free hiring: Policy on removing the “Canadian experience” barrier.

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Presentation on theme: "Bias-free hiring: Policy on removing the “Canadian experience” barrier."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bias-free hiring: Policy on removing the “Canadian experience” barrier

2 What we will cover: The human rights system in Ontario The Ontario Human Rights Code Human rights and hiring practices Policy on “Canadian experience”


4 Commission mandate Public Education Monitoring Policy Public Inquiries ? Outreach

5 Ontario Human Rights Code Code’s Preamble recognizes dignity and worth of every person and provides for equal rights and opportunities Part I of the Code: … lists the 5 social areas … and the 17 grounds of discrimination

6 Social areas Services Housing Contracts Employment Vocational associations

7 Grounds Race Ancestry Place of origin Colour Ethnic origin Citizenship Creed (religion) Age Gender identity Gender expression Sex/pregnancy Sexual orientation Family status Marital status Receipt of public assistance (accommodation only) Record of offence (employment only) Disability

8 Discrimination under the Code

9 Discrimination includes Not individually assessing the unique merits, capacities and circumstances of a person Making stereotypical assumptions based on a person’s presumed traits Having the impact of excluding persons, denying benefits or imposing burdens

10 Code protections The Code prohibits: Direct discrimination “Adverse effect” or “constructive” discrimination Systemic discrimination Workplace requirements/rules that are not bona fide Failure to accommodate

11 Code protections Section 5 of the Code prohibits discrimination in employment Section 6 of the Code prohibits discrimination with respect to membership in regulatory bodies

12 Setting job requirements Make sure that job requirements are reasonable and made in good faith If a person is prevented from meeting job requirements for a reason that is related to a ground in the Code, human rights law looks at whether these requirements are reasonable and bona fide

13 Advertising jobs Under section 23(1) of the Code, the right to equal treatment in employments is infringed when a job posting or advertisement directly or indirectly classifies or indicates qualifications by a prohibited ground of discrimination

14 Removing the Canadian experience barrier Background to policy: Inter-disciplinary research Public survey Consultation with employers, regulatory bodies, government and regulatory bodies

15 Job requirements/ads Code grounds potentially engaged by a “Canadian experience” requirement: Race Place of origin Ancestry Ethnic origin Colour

16 OHRC’s findings Recent immigrants to Canada face high rates of both under-employment and unemployment Requirement for “Canadian experience” is a major barrier to employment and to professional accreditation OHRC’s findings consistent with those of Statistics Canada

17 OHRC’s position A strict requirement for “Canadian experience” is discriminatory on its face and can only be used in limited circumstances The onus will be on employers and regulatory bodies to show that a requirement for Canadian experience is a bona fide requirement, according to an established legal test

18 Legal test Where an employer or regulatory body wants to try to justify a discriminatory requirement, it has to show that the requirement: 1)was adopted for a purpose or goal that is rationally connected to the function being performed 2)was adopted in good faith, in the belief that it is needed to fulfill the purpose or goal, and 3)is reasonably necessary to accomplish its purpose or goal, because it is impossible to accommodate the claimant without undue hardship

19 Organizational responsibility Employers and regulatory bodies have legal responsibility under the Code to ensure that employment and accreditation practices don’t result in discrimination Policy provides guidance to organizations on how to act in accordance with human rights principles

20 Best practices Separate job requirements that are “legitimate” from those that are simply “nice to haves” and only require the level of proficiency that is necessary to do the job in question List these competencies in job description so that candidates can demonstrate how their skills match up to the requirements Consider all relevant work experience regardless of where it was obtained

21 Best practices Assess candidates on an individualized basis Decision-making processes should be as transparent as possible Give candidates opportunity to demonstrate their competencies through an interview, practical test, simulated job setting, or employment on a contract or probationary basis

22 Conclusion Employment and accreditation requirements should be clear, reasonable, genuine and directly related to performing the job or receiving professional accreditation “Canadian experience” requirements will contravene the Code where an employer or regulatory body cannot show that they are bona fide (legitimate) in accordance with the established legal test

23 Coming soon: Webinar on policy eLearning modules on the “Canadian experience” policy – separate modules for: newcomers employers employment agencies Videos for employers (in collaboration with Maytree) Will be posted on the OHRC website:

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