The idea of employment equity stems from the 1984 Royal Commission on Equality in Employment (Abella’s Commission), created by Judge Rosalie Abella. She penned the Commission to address systemic workforce discrimination found throughout Canada.
The Employment Equity Act was first implemented in 1986, inspired by Abella’s Commission. Its purpose was to break down systemic barriers that create discrimination in the workplace for four designated groups (women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, and members of visible minorities) and to reduce the underrepresentation of those groups in the workplace. The Act was amended in 1995 and the new version was implemented in 1996.
Aside from a few reviews, the Employment Equity Act of 1995 was the only significant update and the Act has remained largely unchanged for the past 27 years, despite a drastically evolving workforce. The report below examines the Employment Equity Act and the recent Accessible Canada Act, offering suggestions on how to improve the Employment Equity Act to better serve persons with disabilities.
Find the PDF here.