What makes or breaks any workplace is the people who call it their second home. A diverse workplace is one that makes persons from all walks of life feel welcome. Not only is improving employment access to protected groups the law of the land in Canada, but it’s also the right thing to do.
LinkNow Media is proud to be an equal-opportunity employer. And we’re proud to embed the rights and responsibilities enshrined in the Canadian Employment Equity Act into our everyday workplace culture [EVE: link to blog on office culture].
What Is Employment Equity?
You might hear terms like ‘equal-opportunity employer’ and ‘diverse workplace’ bandied about, which don’t have significant legal meaning in Canada. But committing to Employment Equity does—it refers to the principles of fairness and diversity in hiring that has been law since 1986.
Put simply, employers who do business in Canada are required to remove barriers to employment for four designated groups of persons whenever possible. The law is made as open as possible to ensure that employers must go the extra mile to accommodate protected groups.
What Groups are Protected Under the Employment Equity Act?
The Employment Equity Act designates special protections for the following four groups:
• Persons with disabilities
• Aboriginal people and First Nations
• Visible minorities
These protections are in place to combat institutional prejudice. These four groups may have more difficulty finding work or being fairly compensated for the work they do, and so Canadian law protects them and encourages workplaces to make finding and holding work easier for them.
What Can My Business Do to Improve Employment Equity?
There are many things you can do to improve access to your business for both employees and customers. For example, locating your office in a building with elevators and ramps will make your business accessible to employees who use wheelchairs. Recruiting in Aboriginal communities is another possibility.
Most important is perhaps a robust human resources department with harassment and equity policies that make sure that your office is safe and professional. Many of the structural barriers to the four groups designated under the Employment Equity Act come in the form of societal attitudes or prejudice on the part of others. This is rarely so obvious as harassment, but may be insidious or even well-meaning, such as a manager who doesn’t assign difficult tasks to a person with disabilities out of wanting to protect them.
If your company hasn’t formed an equity committee, ask around. Contributing to the friendliness and diversity of the workplace is something that many people are passionate about.
LinkNow Is Proud to Employ Equally
LinkNow Media cares about diversity and ensuring everyone who steps foot through our front doors is treated with respect and friendliness. That’s why we’re proud to comply with Canada’s Employment Equity Act and to meet the standards of the United States’ Equal Employment Opportunity Commission whenever possible.
Plus, we’re always looking to hire folks with positive attitudes, no matter what their background is. Want to know more? Give our H.R. department a call or check out our jobs board!