Final Approval Body: SLT
Senior Administrative Position with Responsibility: Associate Vice-Principal Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion
Date Initially Approved: July, 2022
Designated Groups is a term that refers to women, members of racialized/visible minorities, Indigenous peoples, and persons with disabilities (and such other groups as may be included in the definition of 'designated groups' in the Employment Equity Act, S.C. 1995, c.46, as amended from time to time).
Diversity is about what makes each of us unique and includes our backgrounds, personality, life experiences and beliefs. It is a combination of the visible and invisible differences that shape our view of the world, our perspective, and our approach.
Employment equity is a program that contributes to the overall effectiveness of an organization because it is a human resource planning tool designed to eliminate barriers in the workplace that may prevent the full participation of all employees and potential employees, including Designated and Equity-deserving Group members.
Equity-deserving Groups is a term which includes the four Designated Groups plus persons who identify as 2SLGBTQ+ in the context of the Queen's University workplace.
Federal Contractors Programs (FCP) is a program that requires provincial organizations with 100 or more employees and who receive an initial federal government goods and services contract valued at $1 million or more to commit to implementing employment equity with regard to four Designated Groups: Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities and racialized groups, and women. Queen's University is a contractor under the FCP.
Inclusion is an active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with Diversity, where each person is valued and provided with the opportunity to participate fully in creating a successful and thriving community.
Special Employment is described in Section 24 of the Ontario Human Rights Code; it is a lawful exception to the right of equal treatment in employment that permits preferential hiring practices in employment, where, among other situations:
- an organization that is primarily engaged in serving the interests of persons identified by their race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, creed, sex, age, marital status, or disability employs only, or gives preference in employment to, persons similarly identified. The preference must be reasonable and bona fide and must be related to the nature of the employment - For example, a women’s centre that restricts hiring of life-skills counsellors for women to women applicants; or,
- discrimination in employment is for reasons of age, sex, record of offences or marital status if the age, sex, record of offences or marital status of the applicant is a reasonable and bona fide qualification because of the nature of the employment
Special Programs are programs that help disadvantaged members of Human Rights Code-protected groups improve their situation. It is not discrimination to put in place a 'special program’ if it is designed to improve equality of opportunity and help eliminate discrimination for such groups. Special Programs are protected by Section 14 of the Ontario Human Rights Code.
Targeted hiring is a process that relies on the lawful exceptions to the right to equal treatment with respect to employment in the Ontario Human Rights Code in which the pool of candidates is narrowed or preference is given to specific categories of candidates.
Where specific criteria are met, Targeted hiring may be implemented as a Special Program or Special Employment initiative, designed to remove barriers, redress Under-representation, or improve opportunities for members of specific groups to access equal employment. Consistent with its Employment Equity obligations, Targeted hiring at Queen's focuses primarily on the Equity-deserving Groups (Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities and racialized groups, women and 2SLGBTQ+ communities) which are a subset of the Human Rights Code-protected groups.
Under-representation is defined by the FCP as having a significantly lower percentage of Designated Group members in a particular occupational group than would reasonably be expected in comparison to their general availability in the Canadian workforce.
Purpose of Policy
At Queen’s University, Targeted hiring is one type of initiative used to address systemic employment barriers, achieve equity, and are designed to:
- contribute to achieving the proportional representation of Designated Group members at Queen’s to reflect representation in the Canadian workforce population,
- help units redress Under-representation in the employment of Equity-deserving Group members in a targeted and sustainable manner,
- provide Equity-deserving Group members with opportunities for career development that both stimulate and respond to their specific needs, interests, and aspirations, and
- reach objectives established under institutional-level equity plans such as the CRC Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan.
Scope of Policy
This Policy applies to all Queen’s University academic and administrative departments wishing to implement a Targeted hiring initiative to address Under-representation, remove systemic employment barriers, and improve opportunities, access, and Diversity in their unit, department, School or Faculty.
Queen’s recognizes Targeted hiring as one essential strategy by which the university can advance its human rights, equity and Diversity commitments and obligations.
Targeted hiring is intended to enhance existing institutional Employment Equity Procedures, including the use of the Queen's Equity Appointments Process (QEAP). Targeted hiring initiatives must comply with Ontario Human Rights Code requirements, meet all standards set out in the Ontario Human Rights Commission's guidelines, and observe existing procedures for faculty and staff recruitment.
Targeted hiring does not replace standard operational requirements of Queen's University Equity Hiring processes as administered by the Human Rights and Equity Office and Human Resources or as established under relevant staff or faculty collective agreements.
The Human Rights and Equity Office (HREO) is responsible for managing, monitoring and reporting on institutional compliance with requirements of the University's Employment Equity programs, including Targeted hiring. HREO staff may assist units in assessing whether their proposed Targeted hiring initiative(s) comply with the Special programs and/or Special Employment provisions of the Ontario Human Rights Code and meets the necessary criteria described by the Ontario Human Rights Commission. The HREO may also assist units in assessing the readiness of the unit to support the recruitment and retention of Equity-deserving Group members and in building necessary capacity.
Human Resources may provide advice and guidance on implementing Targeted hiring in accordance with relevant collective agreements. They may also assist units in reviewing whether the targeted recruitment strategy for implementing an Exclusive hiring initiative aligns with institutional hiring practices and policies.
Faculty Relations may provide advice and guidance on implementing Targeted hiring initiatives in accordance with relevant collective agreements. They may also assist units in reviewing whether the targeted recruitment strategy for implementing an Exclusive hiring initiative aligns with institutional hiring practices and policies.
Deans and Senior Administrative Leaders oversee the development and launch of Targeted hiring initiatives within their areas of responsibility. Deans and Senior Administrative Leaders will ensure that all relevant procedures are followed and that measures are in place to support the success of Targeted hiring initiatives and the Equity-deserving faculty and staff.
The Office of the Provost (for academic hiring) or the Vice-Principal Finance and Administration (VPFA) (for staff hiring) gives final approval to launch Targeted hiring initiatives.
All members of the Queen's community are expected to cooperate with and support the institution's equity measures, including the implementation of Targeted hiring initiatives.
Units/Departments/Schools/Faculties must follow the Targeted hiring implementation procedure.
An employee who is excluded from an employment opportunity designated as a Targeted hiring may obtain information about the rationale, and eligibility criteria of the Targeted hiring initiative from the academic or administrative unit implementing the initiative.
Should an employee’s concern remain unaddressed, they may seek further guidance from the Human Rights and Equity Office or their union (if applicable). Nothing precludes employees from seeking the advice of the Ontario Human Rights Legal Support Centre.
Related Policies, Procedures, Guidelines:
Special Programs' Policy Brief and Guidelines prepared by the Human Rights and Equity Office
Policies Superseded by this Policy: None
Responsible Office: AVP Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion
Contact: Human Rights and Equity Office
Date for Next Review 2027