The first thing you need to do after receiving a letter from the Commission letting you know that you may be subject to an employment equity audit is provide the Commission with a copy of your most recent workforce analysis.
A workforce analysis is essentially an overview of the people who work in your organization. If you are unsure how to develop a workforce analysis, try using the Workplace Equity Information Management System. This easy to use tool was designed to help you meet your reporting obligations under the Employment Equity Act.
The Commission will review your workforce analysis to determine whether members of the four designated groups are sufficiently represented at every level within your workplace. If your organization is found to not have good representation (compared to other employers in your industry) you will then be subject to an audit.
The Commission is responsible for ensuring that federally regulated organizations comply with the Employment Equity Act. This includes approximately 550 private sector employers in banking, telecommunication, transportation and other federally regulated industries, and approximately 100 public sector departments and agencies.
The Commission conducts compliance review audits to determine if these employers are meeting their obligations under the Employment Equity Act. Meeting these obligations involves implementing proper practices to achieve equality in the workplace for the four designated groups: women, members of visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples and persons with disabilities.
The Commission takes into account your employment equity results and the specific challenges associated with your industry, if you are found to be:
- A more successful employment equity employer (with better employment equity results overall compared to the rest of your sector or a good overall representation in three out of four designated groups), the Commission will focus only on results achieved;
- A less successful employment equity employer (with lower overall employment equity results than the rest of your sector), the Commission will focus on all nine statutory requirements as well as on results achieved.
You will be notified in writing that your organization may be subject to an employment equity audit. You are required to provide a copy of your most recent workforce analysis.
After reviewing your workforce analysis, the Commission will implement one of the following options:
- For a more successful employment equity employer, the Commission will produce a status report on your employment equity results achieved, including a comparison with your own sector of operations. The status report will highlight your accomplishments along with remaining challenges to achieving adequate representation of the four designated groups.
- An employer with lower employment equity results will be subject to an audit pursuant to section 22 of the Employment Equity Act. At this point, additional information will be requested so that the Commission can assess your compliance with the nine main statutory requirements.
If you meet the requirements, an employment equity audit report will be produced to conclude the audit.
If you are found not to be in compliance with the Employment Equity Act, you will have up to four months to correct the deficiencies observed and will be assessed again.
If at that point, you are found to still not be in compliance, the Commission may issue a Direction to which you must respond by a set deadline. As a last resort, if legislative obligations are still not met, the Commission could refer you to an Employment Equity Review Tribunal.