Human Resources Legislative Update
Updated Guidelines for Employers Subject to the Employment Equity Act
Date: April 6, 2022
The federal government has updated the following interpretations, policies and guidelines (IPGs) for employers subject to the Legislated Employment Equity Program (LEEP), under the Employment Equity Act (Act).
“Communication, Consultation, Collaboration” (IPG 115 ) provides that employers must inform their employees about the purpose of, measures undertaken or planned to implement, and progress made in implementing employment equity. Employers must also invite employee representatives (such as bargaining agents) to contribute their views on the assistance they can provide in implementing employment equity, and in communicating to employees on related matters. Both the employers and representatives are also tasked with collaborating on the preparation, implementation and revision of the employment equity plan.
“Employment Equity Plan” (IPG 114) sets out the responsibilities of employers concerning the preparation of, implementation of and revisions to their employment equity plan. Among other things, this includes:
- the activities the plan must specify in the short-term (e.g. positive policies and practices to hire, train, promote and retain persons in designated groups, accommodations to correct the underrepresentation identified in the workforce analysis and measures to eliminate any employment barriers identified during the employment systems review)
- setting goals for hiring and promoting where a workforce analysis finds underrepresentation in certain Employment Equity Occupational Groups
- at least once during the period covered by the short term numerical goals, requiring employers to review their employment equity plan and revise it by updating the numerical goals and making other necessary changes that may result from monitoring implementation or changing circumstances
- setting long-term goals with a view to increasing the representation of persons in designated groups and a strategy to achieve those goals
- ensuring the employment equity plan would, if implemented, show reasonable progress toward implementing employment equity as required by the Act, and making all reasonable efforts to implement and monitor implementation of the plan on a regular basis.
“Collection of Workforce Information” (IPG 111) describes employers’ responsibilities regarding conducting a workforce survey. They must provide each employee with a self-identification questionnaire that asks whether the employee is an Aboriginal person, a person with a disability, and/or a member of a visible minority. The guideline also describes the information that must be included on the questionnaire, and how the employer must keep the workforce survey results up to date.
“Definitions and Interpretations for Reporting Salary” (IPG 106) requires that employers must include salary, bonus pay and overtime pay for employment equity reporting purposes. Bonus pay and overtime pay, however, are to be excluded from the annual salary and hourly rate calculations (Form 2 Parts A – G of the employment equity report) and must be reported separately. The following payments and benefits must not be included for employment equity reporting purposes: allowances, benefits (including taxable benefits), compensation for extra-duty services other than overtime, payment in kind; reimbursements for employment expenses, retroactive payments (for commitments outside the reporting period), securities, severance pay or termination pay, supplementary payments or vacation pay (no time taken).
“Employment Systems Review” (IPG 113 ) provides which employment systems, policies and practices employers are required to review to identify employment barriers, and sets out how to conduct an employment systems review. The guideline also provides information on who should conduct the employment systems review, what is required in the summary report, making recommendations to remove barriers and the requirement to develop a process to review new policies and practices.
“Reporting Salary” (IPG 107) details the requirement to report salary ranges and pay gap information using specific salary information. The guideline outlines the information required in Form 2 Parts A-G, the elements to be used to identify salary ranges and pay gap information and how to report wage gaps related to hourly wages, bonus pay and overtime pay.
“Workforce Analysis” (IPG 112) provides tools for employers to assess their workforce when implementing employment equity, in compliance with the legislation. The guideline sets out what factors employers must determine for each Employment Equity Occupational Group, how to determine the underrepresentation of members of designated groups and the requirement to prepare a summary of the results and to report salary (per IPG 107).
Employers also have record-keeping responsibilities described in the above, as they pertain to IPGs 115, 114, 111, 113, 107 and 112.
Should you have any questions related to LEEP, or the Employment Equity Regulations under the Employment Equity Act, please contact your regular Hicks Morley lawyer.
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