(Each month our feature question explores the content and use of the BuildForce Canada Respectful Workplace Policy Framework and Implementation Guide. This tool is a free template designed to assist organizations in creating and implementing policies that support a respectful and inclusive workplace. This tool is one of three in the BuildForce Canada Respectful and Inclusive Workplace Toolkit.)
Human rights legislation across Canada protects every person in employment against discrimination on the grounds of specific characteristics.
Although federal, provincial, and territorial human rights codes vary in the grounds they protect, organizations must be aware of the grounds of discrimination covered in their relevant legislation.
Some of the protected grounds are age, ancestry, criminal charges or conviction, disability, gender expression or political beliefs, and more.
Legislation also permits organizations to collect data on the demographic characteristics of their workforce as a means of proactively identifying, preventing, and addressing discrimination.
The BuildForce Respectful Workplace Policy Framework and supporting Implementation Guide help organizations to meet this requirement by:
- taking the position that a respectful workplace is also an inclusive workplace and that no employee should be excluded from activities or opportunities based on personal characteristics
- recognizing that each person’s unique perspective enriches the workplace and contributes to the organization’s success
- encouraging the gathering of workforce demographic data as a means of identifying gaps in demographic representation and determining inclusion issues and barriers to advancement
- requiring implementation of a process of continuous improvement based on the workforce data by setting goals, establishing appropriate programs, and measuring results against those goals
For more info:
- Alberta Human Rights Act. www.albertahumanrights.ab.ca.
- Ontario Human Rights Act. www.ohrc.on.ca/en/iii-principles-and-concepts/4-legal-responsibility-human-rights-work.
This project has been funded by Status of Women Canada.