Many people have wrong ideas
regarding the term Employment Equity. I have heard my colleagues and friends using the term as equal income to all the employees or giving bonuses and gifts without partiality. However, Employment Equity is more than that. The term Equity means the quality of being impartial and Employment is an economic paid activity. Employment Equity is an act, defined in Federal Canadian law. The act of course focuses on treating everyone the same irrespective of caste, gender, religion, nationality, and physical features. But it also requires accommodation of differences and special measures to decrease such gaps. The main aim of the Employment Equity Act is to achieve equality between employers in the workplace. The act was implemented in 1998 and had the sole purpose of removing hurdles to employment. It used reasonable accommodation for each individual to employment in a workplace. For instance; positive policies, advertisements for jobs in minority languages, and many more.
The Employment Equity Act mainly covers four distinct groups;
- Women: We know even today women have to suffer a lot of discrimination, hence the act helps in correcting the situation and position of a woman in society. It balances man and woman status in society and therefore gives women equal opportunity to display their talents. Along with this, the act seeks to develop a healthy, safe working place for women.
- Indigenous people: People originating or occurring in a particular place are known as Indigenous people. People who keep up with the tradition and follow the ethics of originality are mainly considered Indigenous people. These groups of people are colonized by large ethnic groups and hence they remain homeland and backward. Khasi Tribe, Gonds Tribe are some known Indigeneuos groups in India. The Employment Equity Act brings a development factor for these tribes and gives them opportunities to get employed.
- Persons with disabilities: The third group of the act is for people who have some disability. People with disabilities are referred to as a single population. However, it is a hugely diverse group of people having impaired body parts. The act helps people with disabilities to be treated equally. These people should be treated as good deeds, not as a burden to society or at the workplace. The act gives the group a chance to display their talents and skills. Their physical, mental, or health disability should not act as a barrier between them and the work. As per the act, the workplace should contain all the necessities like wheelchair-accessible building, having audio-visual fire alarms, accessible toilet facilities, having ramps instead of steps, and many other basic facilities.
- Members of visible minorities: The fourth area of the act is visible minorities. These are the people who are seen as minorities in a country for instance; In the United States Of America, Blacks are minorities, visible minorities can be related to race, color, or gender. There are even many religions in a nation that are treated as visible minorities. The federal of Canada defines visible minorities as all the people other than aboriginals in a country.
All the people in these four groups are given priorities in the act. All of the distinct groups should not limit themselves and should work like every other employee. The act removes barriers related to communication, transportation and establishes a suitable working environment for everyone. Altogether the Employment Equity Act revolves around these four groups and seeks to provide a better healthy workplace for them. The act promotes accommodation and fills the gap between the laid differences, it also promotes at least one representative from each group of a workplace. The Employers Equity act also covers the following points:
- No recruitment through word of mouth
- Hire qualified workers
- Recruitment from backward areas
- No native language was used between workers for communication
- The act doesn’t support promotions without any essential qualification
- No discrimination
- Advertisements in native backward languages
- Remuneration to the employees on the basis of performance
Each living person should be treated equally. Equality amongst people at the workplace is an important factor in the development of personnel, organization, and the nation. The policies of the Employment Equity Act bring together harmony and remove hurdles towards employing minorities. It reframes the institute by removing acts of discrimination or the situations that are leading to discrimination. For example; no use of native languages during work hours, wheelchair-accessible buildings, and many more. It asks for equal positive policies of the organization. All the job applications are to be treated equally under this act, also the process of recruitment should be held in visible minorities areas. There should be vacancies for women and people with disabilities.
Overall, I believe that Employment Equity is a huge term. It isn't limited to treating each employer the same but it also includes the methods of removing the barriers to employment, and so that every person gets equal employment opportunities. It aims to achieve equality in the workplace. This also corrects the condition and position of disadvantaged people in our society. A healthy, friendly environment for employees will give them confidence each day and they will be able to work efficiently. They will be eager to learn new things and will bring a positive attitude towards the organization. The act promotes a healthy relationship between the employees and seeks to give importance to the four disadvantaged domains of society. It encourages young individuals of the groups, initiates them to do more, and contributes to the overall goal and development of the organization. The act gives equal opportunities for growth to all of the people and helps them grow individually in an organization that will overall develop a nation holistically.