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Human Resource Management

Employment
Equity/ Diversity
Case Study
The Peoples Bank of Quebec

Omar Abdellatif, Kim Chant, Dennis Jonah

Employment Equity/ Diversity Case Study


Contents
The Advantages of a diverse Workforce:...............................................................3
Steps in diversity management: in relevance to PBQ...........................................4
Action Plan Critique............................................................................................... 4
Three components of the employment equity plan:..............................................5
Step 1: Initial communication to introduce the plan:.......................................5
Step 2: Communicating the plan.....................................................................6
Step 3: Evaluating the plan:............................................................................ 6
Peoples Bank of Quebec Anti-harassment Policy and Procedures.........................6
Policy Statement............................................................................................. 6
Application...................................................................................................... 6
Definitions....................................................................................................... 6
Responsibilities and Expectations...................................................................7
Procedures for Addressing a Harassment Complaint.......................................7
Mediation......................................................................................................... 8
Investigation.................................................................................................... 8
Substantiated Complaint.................................................................................8
Other Redress.................................................................................................. 8
Privacy and Confidentiality..............................................................................8
Review............................................................................................................. 8
Enquiries......................................................................................................... 8
Peoples Bank of Quebec Accommodation Policy...................................................9
Policy Statement:............................................................................................ 9
Scope.............................................................................................................. 9
Definitions:...................................................................................................... 9
Employment Accommodation:.........................................................................9
Conditions:.................................................................................................... 10
Roles and Responsibilities:............................................................................ 10
Requesting accommodation:.........................................................................11
Rationale....................................................................................................... 11
References..................................................................................................... 11
The Peoples Bank of Quebec Equity and Diversity Policy....................................12
Policy statement............................................................................................ 12
Purpose......................................................................................................... 12
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Employment Equity/ Diversity Case Study


Application.................................................................................................... 12
Policy description.......................................................................................... 12
Definitions..................................................................................................... 13
Responsibilities.............................................................................................. 14
Rationale....................................................................................................... 16
References for Employment Equity Policy:.....................................................16
Human Rights Maturity Model (HRMM)................................................................17
Summary............................................................................................................. 17

Employment Equity/ Diversity Case Study

The Peoples Bank of Quebec


Employment Equity/ Diversity
Program Case Study
The Advantages of a diverse Workforce:
Firstly it should be understood that diversity properly defined; is simply a
variety of backgrounds, life experience, education, and cultural influence. It is
not the color of the skin that matters to a diverse workforce but rather its variety.
YES! It is true that a side effect of seeking out diversity is that your workforce
becomes more varied in its racial composition, but also more diverse in ways
that are not so immediately visible from the outside.
The concerns that Francoise is describing in the case are directly related to the
confusion of the goal and outcome related to diversity; Namely that the goal of
diversity is NOT to give preferential treatment to any one group, but rather to
foster diversity to increase the value of a corporations human capital. The side
effect being more unique and sometimes visibly different hires. With a focus on
the goals of diversity it is much easier to communicate the value of diversity.
For every bump in the road or hurdle to overcome in day to day business and
operations of your company it is always going to be easier to troubleshoot and
find work a rounds with the more perspectives you can bring forth, and this is the
core ideology of a diversified workforce from a strategic point of view. All the rest
is political.
A diverse workforce will serve a diverse clientele better
Diverse Tellers will surely serve a diverse clientele better: By establishing
rapport, empathy and general comfort for the customer by just
recognizing presence and language variety within the force even if it's not
necessary.
Diverse Program and service designers will come up with innovative, well
targeted services and offerings better tailored to the diverse market.
French speaking Quebecois women are not going to relate and come up
with offerings as innovative, as tailored and as frequent as they can with a
diverse workforce including Latin, Asian, African, Eastern... and so on.
A diverse workforce has many great advantages. A multicultural organization
that will employ individuals who hold diverse values and lifestyles allows for a
larger diverse pool of candidates which could include a larger pool of talent. In a
multicultural organization, individuals from diverse backgrounds can hold
positions throughout an organization which will offer the company more
flexibility, adaptability and capabilities which can help lead to the companys
overall success.

Employment Equity/ Diversity Case Study


Steps in diversity management:
in relevance to PBQ

1. Analyze existing systems and procedures: An effective strategy to


incur any change would be to analyze the situation within the environment
to determine the best possible way to go about the change that is needed.
As per the case it was obvious a staffing policy was needed due to hiring
managers reluctance to add diverse people in their groups; in fear of
negatively affecting their team dynamic. You cant miss what you never
had; Managers are simply unaware of the benefits they are forgoing. A
clear analysis of where they are, with all the quantitative numbers:
Number of employees, forecasts for future hiring, the external
environment and influencing factors, will be needed to know where you
are and where you should be going and which road youre going to take.
Measures need to be set in place and used to portray and monitor current
and future changes.
2. Plan and Set Achievable targets: It would be illogical for PBQs HRM to
turn everything upside down overnight and expect results. For
employment equity to be established properly it should not come on the
expense of others, especially the companys reputation.
Everything should be set and planned logically, rationally, in a legal and
timely manner. Once achievable targets are set, Conceptual organizational
prioritization is needed to keep everything in perspective, it can be very
easy to get carried away in a strategy for change and be blind to the
reality of its failure.
3. Implement Plans: A plan is only as good as its implementation. Proceed
with caution, dont leave room for doubt. A lot of cultures are reluctant to
change, but nothing is impossible if you keep emphasizing on the benefits.
Europe was battling each other through WWI and WWII till they realized
power is in unity. And now you have streets that are shared by 2 Countries
that were once enemies.
To change an organizations culture is a serious challenge that takes time.
Plant the seed and its bound to grow.
4. Monitor progress and take timely corrective actions: Using
measures that were set in place keep track of developments and proceed
with the mentality that nothing is perfect and set in stone. An
organizations culture is a dynamic challenge that will need constant
corrective action and follow up.
5. Communicate widely: Everyone should be aware of the companys
current strategy and objectives. If employees are truly committed to the
organization and not personal gain they will support the initiative and
recognize the opportunity; the bank will probably be expanding soon.
Keeping a clear report of equity amongst employees is a must for future
strategic analysis, legalities and compliance with the employment equity
act.

Employment Equity/ Diversity Case Study


Action Plan Critique
Beginning to look at the HR directors diversity action plan it is clear that
Francoise Roy was an individual who was going to improve the diversity at
Peoples Bank of Quebec (PBQ) She had been the HR director for a little over a
year and she knew that a lot would have to be changed in the minds of the
people and the organizational culture.
Workplace diversity was one of her priorities and her determination had gotten
her employment equity plan approved by the Canadian Human Rights
Commission. When comparing Francoises start to implementing an employment
equity plan to the employment equity checklist, it is visible that some tasks were
being left out such as initiating a comprehensive communication strategy in
place for the organization. Identifying that a lot would have to change in the
minds of the people, it would have been in her best interest to establish a
communication strategy for the success of introducing her employment equity
plan.
When moving into retrieving relevant workforce data to determine where a
plan would be most needed, Francoise did a good job identifying the legal and
socio-demographic factors as well as the factor of diversity in the banking sector.
She not only identified these factors, but also compared them to how they were
affecting her own company as well as how they were affecting other Canadian
banks. She identified that in 2001 there were over 700,000 immigrants in
Quebec; with 500,000 being members of visible minority groups and the majority
of immigrants today were identified to be Asian (including South Asians) or Black .
This information was very important for Francoise to identify because this
information had changed legislation regarding The Canadian Charter of Rights
and Freedoms, which is in place to help provide equality to every individual in
the workforce.
To ensure that employers were complying with these requirements, the
Commission began conducting audits in 1998. To ensure that Peoples Bank of
Quebec was complying with these requirements, it was important for Francoise
to start the notion that her company had an employment equity plan in place.
After identifying the legal and socio-demographic factors, the diversity in the
banking sector was next. Due to the Canadian Constitution Act, the banking
sector had moved under the executive legislative jurisdiction of the federal
government, with Peoples Bank of Quebec being one of seven chartered banks
in operation in Quebec. Due to the type of service Francoises company entails
she is not only dealing with workplace diversity but also dealing with a diverse
clientele. In 2002, members of visible minority groups represented 18.6% of the
workforce; however the state of affairs at PBQ was quite different. When
comparing the information given, we believe that Francoise did a good job
performing a workforce analysis checklist because from this she was able to
identify that although there was visible minority groups represented, they were
not greatly represented at PBQ.
When looking at the Peoples Bank of Quebec on its own, its evident that
due the company being a medium-sized bank which focuses on retail and small
business banking, that this was an issue which had caused PBQs revenues to fall
by half taking into consideration that the year of 2002 had been a difficult one
for most Canadian banks. Although Francoise truly believed in her equity plan,
she specifically identified the need to change employees thinking. In compliance
with employment system review checklist, the banks CEO assured her that she
had his support and that he had even written a letter to that effect and that all of
the banks managers had received a copy of it.

Employment Equity/ Diversity Case Study


Even with this effort, Francoise believed that the managers might not see
diversity as a priority. As mentioned earlier, a communication strategy was not
in place, clearly one needed to be. Overall, we believe that there was not enough
push to get the employment equity plan into place. Francoise Roy in our opinion
was definitely a well-educated HR director, however when it came to
implementing an employment equity plan, we felt that she did not introduce the
plan enough or in the correct ways.

Three components of the employment equity plan:


Step 1: Initial communication to introduce the plan:
To introduce the employment equity plan to Peoples Bank of Quebec,
We would look to see who we are introducing this plan to, and when we identify
that it is bank tellers to the CEO, what better way to introduce a group of
individuals good with numbers than with numbers and statistics? It is important
to show employees WHY an employment equity plan is needed rather than just
giving someone a plan and expecting him or her to follow it. Of course they
would have questions as to well why is this important? Showing them the
configurations of the banks revenue plunge, you would hopefully have
individuals engaged and motivated to fix the problem.
Step 2: Communicating the plan
Once we have established the need for an employment equity plan, it is
important that we communicate the plan and what we expect from it in the right
way. Our plan would be to have the Human Resources department deliver the
employment equity plan and note that we have the support and cooperation of
the CEO and now we are asking for theirs. We believe that having the Human
Resources department deliver the employment equity plan that it will show
employees that this is not only a matter for the business professionally but also
for the business personally.
Step 3: Evaluating the plan:
We can have a plan in place, but if it is not changing anything then whats the
point. A positive way of evaluating the plan is before initiating the plan, send our
customer surveys as well as collect the data for the overall success of the
Peoples Bank of Quebec. After initiating a plan, evaluate the plan every 3
months, sending out similar surveys based on the answers from the previous
ones and again collecting the overall data of the bank. Completing this
evaluation in this form and in this time frame will not only allow you to see where
there is room for improvement but when the improvement is needed.

Peoples Bank of Quebec


Anti-harassment Policy and Procedures
Policy Statement
Peoples Bank of Quebec is committed to fostering a harassment-free workplace
where all employees and applicants are treated with respect and dignity. The
Canadian Human Rights Act protects employees from harassment based on race,
national or ethnic origin, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital
status, family status, disability or pardoned conviction. Harassment at Peoples
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Bank of Quebec is not tolerated. Employees and/or applicants who are found to
have harassed another individual may be subject to disciplinary action. This
includes any employee and/or applicant who: interferes with the resolution of a
harassment complaint; retaliates against an individual for filing a harassment
complaint; or files an unfounded harassment complaint intended to cause harm.
Application
This policy applies to all current employees of Peoples Bank of Quebec including
full and part-time, casual, contract, permanent and temporary employees. This
policy also applies to job applicants. This policy applies to all behaviour that is in
some way connected to work, including during off-site meetings, training and on
business trips.
Definitions
Harassment is: offending or humiliating someone physically or verbally;
threatening or intimidating someone; or making unwelcome jokes or
comments about someones race, national or ethnic origin, color, religion,
age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability or
pardoned conviction.
Sexual harassment is: offensive or humiliating behavior that is related to a
persons sex; behavior of a sexual nature that creates an intimidating,
unwelcome, hostile or offensive work environment; or behavior of a sexual
nature that could reasonably be thought to put sexual conditions on a
persons job or employment opportunities.
Responsibilities and Expectations
Peoples Bank of Quebec is responsible for: providing all employees and/or
applicants a harassment-free workplace.
The Human Resource Department is responsible for under the direct
supervision of Francoise Roy, HR Director: ensuring that this policy is
applied in a timely, consistent and confidential manner; determining
whether or not allegations of harassment are substantiated; and
determining what corrective action is appropriate where a harassment
complaint has been substantiated.

The Human Resource Department is responsible for under the direct


supervision of Francoise Roy, HR Director: the administration of this policy;
reviewing this policy annually, or as required; and making necessary
adjustments to ensure that this policy meets the needs of the
organization.
Supervisors are responsible for: fostering a harassment-free work
environment and setting an example about appropriate workplace
behavior; communicating the process for investigating and resolving
harassment complaints made by employees; dealing with harassment
situations immediately upon becoming aware of them, whether or not a
harassment complaint has been made; taking appropriate action during a
harassment investigation, including separating the parties to the
harassment complaint, when appropriate; and ensuring harassment
situations are dealt with in a sensitive and confidential manner.
Employees and Applicants are responsible for: treating others with respect
in the workplace; reporting harassment to Francoise Roy, HR Director
cooperating with a harassment investigation and respecting the
confidentiality related to the investigation process

Employment Equity/ Diversity Case Study

Employees and Applicants can expect: to be treated with respect in the


workplace; that reported harassment will be dealt with in a timely,
confidential and effective manner; to have their rights to a fair process
and to confidentiality respected during a harassment investigation; and to
be protected against retaliation for reporting harassment or cooperating
with a harassment investigation.

Procedures for Addressing a Harassment Complaint


Filing a Complaint: An employee or applicant may file a harassment
complaint by contacting Francoise Roy, HR Director. The complaint may be
verbal or in writing. If the complaint is made verbally, Francoise Roy, HR
Director will record the details provided by the employee.
The employee or applicant should be prepared to provide details such as:
what happened
when it happened
where it happened
How often and who else was present (if applicable).
Complaints should be made as soon as possible but no later than within one year
of the last incident of perceived harassment, unless there are circumstances that
prevented the employee from doing so. Francoise Roy, HR Director will tell the
person that the harassment complaint has been made against, in writing, that a
harassment complaint has been filed. The letter will also provide details of the
allegations that have been made against him or her. Every effort will be made to
resolve harassment complaints within 30 days. Peoples Bank of Quebec will
advise both parties of the reasons why, if this is not possible. If either party to a
harassment complaint believes that the complaint is not being handled in
accordance with this policy, he or she should contact the HR department.
Mediation
Wherever appropriate and possible, the parties to the harassment complaint will
be offered mediation prior to proceeding with a harassment investigation.
Mediation is voluntary and confidential. It is intended to assist the parties to
arrive at a mutually acceptable resolution to the harassment complaint. The
mediator will be a neutral person, agreed upon by both parties. The mediator will
not be involved in investigating the complaint. Each party to the complaint has
the right to be accompanied and assisted during mediation sessions by a person
of their choosing.
Investigation
If mediation is inappropriate or does not resolve the issue, a harassment
investigation will be conducted. An individual that has the necessary training and
experience will handle all investigations who. In some cases, an external
consultant may be engaged for this purpose.
The investigator will interview the person who made the complaint, the person
the complaint was made against and any witnesses that have been identified. All
people who are interviewed will have the right to review their statement, as
recorded by the investigator, to ensure its accuracy. The investigator will prepare
a report that will include: a description of the allegations; the response of the
person the complaint was made against; a summary of information learned from
witnesses (if applicable); and a decision about whether, on a balance of

Employment Equity/ Diversity Case Study


probabilities, harassment did occur. This report will be submitted to the HR
department. Both parties to the complaint will be given a copy.
Substantiated Complaint
If a harassment complaint is substantiated, Francoise Roy, HR Director will decide
what action is appropriate. Remedies for the employee and/or applicant who
were harassed may include: an oral or written apology; compensation for lost
wages; compensation for any lost employment benefits such as sick leave; and
compensation for hurt feelings. Corrective action for the employee or applicant
found to have engaged in harassment may include: a reprimand; a suspension; a
transfer; a demotion; and/or dismissal. Both parties to the complaint will be
advised, in writing, of the decision.
Other Redress
An employee and/or applicant who is not satisfied with the outcome of the
harassment complaint process may file a discrimination complaint with the
Canadian Human Rights Commission.
Privacy and Confidentiality
All parties to a harassment complaint are expected to respect the privacy and
confidentiality of all other parties involved and to limit the discussion of a
harassment complaint to those that need to know. Peoples Bank of Quebec and
all individuals involved in the harassment complaint process, will comply with all
requirements to protect personal information.
Review
Peoples Bank of Quebec will review this policy and procedures on an annual
basis, or as required, and will make necessary adjustments to ensure that it
meets the needs of all employees and applicants.
Enquiries
Enquiries about this policy and related procedures can be made to Francoise Roy,
HR Director
Date: [4/1/10]
What were my resources and reasoning when creating this policy? The template I
used is located at http://www.chrc-ccdp.ca/eng/content/template-developing-antiharassment-policy. The format has been changed and formatted to apply to
Peoples Bank of Quebec. This template include everything I would like to include
in a policy, therefore I am comfortable with my decision in using this template.

Peoples Bank of Quebec


Accommodation Policy
Policy Statement:
The Peoples Bank of Quebec values individual differences, respects individual
needs, and supports accessibility, diversity and fairness in our treatment of all
individuals. The goal of PBQs Employment Accommodation Policy is to establish
and maintain an inclusive workplace, and to provide workplace accommodation
as required under the Peoples Bank of Quebec Human Rights and AntiHarassment Policy and the Quebec Human Rights Code. PBQ recognises its duty

Employment Equity/ Diversity Case Study


to accommodate to the point of undue hardship, and commits itself to an
accommodation process that occurs as quickly and confidentially as possible.
Scope:
All employees and job applicants fall within the umbrella of this policy.
Definitions:
Barriers: Individuals can experience discrimination as a result of physical
(building design), attitudinal (stereotypes or prejudices) or systemic
barriers. Systemic barriers in the workplace are formal or informal policies,
practices or rules which, when applied in the same way to everyone, may
have the effect of unfairly excluding or restricting the participation of
some individuals, e.g., a work schedule that conflicts with religious
observance days.

Duty to Accommodate: The obligation of an employer to take steps to


eliminate the disadvantage caused by systemic, attitudinal, or physical
barriers that unfairly exclude individuals or groups protected under PBQs
Human Rights and Anti-Harassment Policy (see Protected Grounds).

Employment Accommodation:
Universal Accommodation: The process of identifying and eliminating
barriers for everyone. This can be done by modifying facilities, policies,
programs, procedures and practices, and ensuring that potential barriers
are identified and resolved before engaging in new corporate actions.
Refer to PBQs Employment Equity Policy for further information regarding
PBQs position on identifying and removing artificial and systemic barriers
to full employment.
Individual Accommodation: An adaptation or adjustment that may be
required to enable an employee to perform his or her essential job
responsibilities effectively. This may involve purchasing equipment,
changing some duties or hours of the employee, reassignment of the
employee, or provision of specific services such as providing attendant
care or sign language interpretation.
Protected Grounds: Under the Quebec Human Rights Code (the Code),
every person has the right to equal treatment with respect to employment
on the basis of: race, ancestry, place of origin, color, ethnic origin,
citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, record of offences, marital
status, family status, or disability.
Undue Hardship: Refers to the extent to which an employer must attempt
to accommodate the needs of an employee on grounds protected under
the Quebec Human Rights Code.
Accommodation requires more than a minimal effort on the part of PBQ. As an
employer, PBQ must take all reasonable steps to see if an employee can be
accommodated in the workplace. However, there are limits on how much PBQ is
required to do in accommodating an employee. If PBQ can show that further
efforts to accommodate would create significant hardship for it as an employer,
PBQ has met its legal obligations.
The three factors under the Code that are considered in determining undue
hardship are: 1) cost of the accommodation, i.e., whether or not the cost
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threatens the viability of the Peoples Bank of Quebec; 2) outside sources of
funding; and 3) health and safety requirements. Other factors may also be
relevant and the case law in this area is always evolving. Each accommodation
situation must be assessed on its own set of circumstances to determine if PBQ
has reached the point of undue hardship.
Conditions:
Scope: PBQs commitment extends to all employment activities:
recruitment and selection, orientation, working conditions, promotion,
training, performance management, career development and workforce
transition. It also includes the purchase and management of information
technology and communication systems, development and management
of information services, decisions relating to real property, purchases of
internal fittings (e.g., chairs, desks, lights, etc.), and decisions related to
conferences, seminars and training.
Individual Assessment: Employment accommodation is assessed and
delivered on an individual basis for persons who make their needs known.
Each situation must be considered individually in order to assess
appropriate accommodation. Requests for employment accommodation
must be dealt with quickly and effectively so employees can fully
participate in all aspects of employment and recruitment, except where
undue hardship can be demonstrated.
Dignity & Privacy: Individuals must be accommodated in ways that respect
their dignity, worth, and right to privacy in the workplace. All information
relating to specific requests for accommodation will be treated as
confidential and will only be used for the purpose of meeting
accommodation requirements. PBQ will comply with all privacy,
confidentiality and security requirements laid out by relevant laws.
Legal Obligations and Limits: Employment accommodation is a legal
obligation for all employers under the Human Rights Code and related
jurisprudence; failure to accommodate on any of the Codes protected
grounds may constitute discrimination and non-compliance with the Code.
The employer is obligated to fully explore accommodation within the
employee's own job. Accommodation outside of the employee's position
(e.g. reassignment to a vacant position) may be considered; for example,
when the employee cannot perform the essential duties of the position
and accommodation in the current position would create undue hardship.
However, this does not mean that a new job must be created for an
employee, nor does the application of this policy constitute a guarantee to
continued employment. PBQ is not obligated to accept substandard or less
than competent performance from an employee once they have been
accommodated.
Roles and Responsibilities:
Division Heads:
Providing leadership in creating and maintaining workplaces in which existing
barriers are removed, no new barriers are introduced, and employment
accommodation is supported
Employees:
Identifying needs and initiating requests for employment accommodation and
participating in the planning and implementation of their own employment
accommodation
Managers and Supervisors:
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Managing the accommodation process by encouraging co-operation, considering
all options, resolving disagreements, and documenting, monitoring and
evaluating employment accommodation solutions
Requesting accommodation:
To request accommodation submit your request in writing to your direct
supervisor, or your contact within the recruitment process. All requests should
include all accommodations requested and a copy of your doctors letter
outlining your Conditions specific limitations. If you have any questions or would
like to submit your request directly to the Human resources department E-mail:
F.Roy@PBQ.ca
Effective: April 1, 2010
Reviewed: October 16, 2014
Author: Francoise Roy, HR Director
Rationale
When reading over the case I knew that a thorough accommodation policy would
be needed, due primarily to the reluctance of the managers to hire diverse
individuals. I foresaw a problem with the perception of someone needing
accommodation, but much like member of visible minorities, might be unwilling
to step forward for fear of stigma with managers.
I chose this specific template due to its unusually detailed language. Many of the
other templates I contemplated using where half a page in length and were more
placeholder then an actual policy, and none included a procedure of requesting
accommodation. For something as individualistic as accommodations I thought it
would be better to not set out a step by step template for submitting a request
as all cases are treated on a case by case basis.

References

http://wx.toronto.ca/intra/hr/policies.nsf/9fff29b7237299b385256729004b844b/1b217717b246f7c585256f020055886a?
OpenDocument
http://www.cdpdj.qc.ca/en/droits-de-la-personne/motifs/Pages/age.aspx

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Employment Equity/ Diversity Case Study

The Peoples Bank of Quebec


Equity and Diversity Policy
Policy statement
The Peoples Bank of Quebec is committed to providing quality services by
establishing a qualified workforce that reflects the diverse population it serves. It
is our bank policy to foster an environment that respects people's dignity, ideas
and beliefs, thereby ensuring equity and diversity in employment and ensuring
customers and others have access to products, services as defined by human
rights legislation.

Purpose
The main objectives of this policy are:

To eliminate barriers in the workplace, commonly known as systemic


discrimination and to develop a work environment that promotes equity and
diversity

To contribute to the achievement of the Peoples Bank of Quebec business


goals and client service delivery

To establish a framework that requires all departments within the


organization to embrace the spirit of equity and diversity in the development
of their policies and programs that impact the delivery of our services.

Application
This policy applies to all employees, including full-time, part-time, and temporary
employees, summer students and co-op placements, persons acting on behalf of
the organization (e.g. consultants, contractors), as well as individuals who apply
for employment with the Peoples Bank of Quebec.
Policy description
The Peoples Bank of Quebec demonstrates its commitment to equity and
diversity by providing a supportive work environment and corporate culture that
welcomes members of designated groups. This policy prohibits discrimination in
the workplace, in the provision of goods, services and the administration of
contracts as defined by human rights legislation.
The Quebec Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination on the basis of race,
ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, age, and sex,
record of offences, marital status, family status, handicap, and sexual
orientation. Under the Canadian Human Rights Act, it is against the law to
discriminate on the basis of race, sex, colour, age, national or ethnic origin,
religion, marital status, family status, disability, sexual orientation and a
pardoned criminal conviction.
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Our Organization does not condone any form of discrimination. It endorses and
embraces the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Quebec Human Rights Code,
which prohibit discriminatory practices.
A corporate equity and diversity plan will be based on the Peoples Bank of
Quebec workforce data, ongoing reviews of the employment policies and
practices, data on the external workforce and other relevant information, such as
graduation statistics from educational institutions.
A corporate plan will outline identified barriers, detail how to eliminate them,
provide a timetable for activities and determine who will implement them. The
Human Resources Division will monitor and evaluate the progress of the various
activities. Each department will cooperate in the development of the corporate
plan and the implementation of activities that apply to their department.
Progress on equity and diversity will be reported annually to the corporate
Human Resources division. A Joint Union-Management Committee will be
established.
Complainants have the right to seek assistance from the appropriate Human
Rights Commission, whether or not they file a discrimination complaint with the
organization.
Complainants must identify themselves. Anonymous complaints will not be
investigated.
All information relating to a complaint will be kept strictly confidential and is
subject to the conditions of the Municipal Freedom of Personal and Private
Information Act, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents
Act, and to litigation requirements. During the investigation, all parties involved
are required to keep the investigation confidential. Details of the recommended
actions are made known only to the management staff involved.
Definitions
For purposes of this policy, the following definitions apply.
Discrimination - the denial of equal treatment in employment, in the provision
of goods, services, and in the administration of contracts based on the prohibited
grounds as defined by human rights legislation.
Systemic Discrimination; the use of a neutral requirement that has a negative
impact on a group protected under human rights legislation. Systemic
discrimination occurs when policies and practices exclude, limit or restrict
members of designated groups from employment or opportunities within
employment. (e.g., opportunities to apply for other jobs, participate in training,
attend conferences, obtain promotions, and receive special assignments).
Harassment - any behaviour or practice that is deemed inappropriate by its
adverse effects on an individual's employment, job performance and/or personal
dignity. The four types of harassment are:

Discriminatory

Personal

Poisoned work environment

Abuse of authority
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Designated groups - for the purposes of its overall equity and diversity
initiatives, the City has identified women, Aboriginal persons, persons with
disabilities, and members of visible minority groups and gay, lesbian, bi-sexual
and transgendered (GLTB) individuals. The selection of these four groups does
not preclude the possibility of addressing systemic discrimination for other
identifiable groups.
Aboriginal persons - are North American Indians or members of a First Nation,
Mtis or Inuit. Members of a First Nation include status, treaty or registered
Indians. North American Indians include non-status and non-registered Indians.
Persons with disabilities - are persons who have a long-term or recurring
physical, mental, sensory, psychiatric or learning impairment and who:

Consider themselves disadvantaged in employment by reason of that


impairment, or who

Believe that an employer or potential employer likely would consider


them disadvantaged in employment by reason of that impairment.

These would include persons whose functional limitations owing to their


impairment have been accommodated in their current job or workplace. For the
purpose of all corporate policies, persons with disabilities shall meet all of the
following criteria:

The condition is permanent, ongoing or of some persistence

The condition is not commonplace or widely shared

The condition is a substantial or material limit on the individual in carrying


out some of life's important functions

Visible minorities - are persons other than Aboriginal persons who are nonCaucasian in race or non-white in colour.
Bona fide occupational requirements are those requirements that:

The employer has adopted for a purpose or goal that is rationally


connected to the functions of the position

The employer has adopted in good faith in the belief that they are
necessary to fulfil the purpose or goal

Are reasonably necessary to accomplish the purpose or goal in the sense


that the employer cannot accommodate persons with the characteristics of a
particular group without incurring undue hardship.

Accommodation - the facilitation and integration of individuals into the


workplace by recognizing and accommodating special needs through the
identification and removal, if necessary, of non-essential job elements, workplace
adjustments, technical devices, flexible scheduling, adaptive devices for
equipment, etc. unless undue hardship by the organization would be incurred in
such accommodation. '

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Employment Equity/ Diversity Case Study


Occupational groups - The 14 occupational groups used by Statistics Canada
to report employment equity data. This is based on the National Occupational
Classification System, which classifies jobs by skill level and skill type. All of our
organizational jobs are classified using this system for the purposes of Equity and
Diversity Procedures.
Workforce census - information on gender and designated group
representation within occupational groups.
Human Rights and Employment Equity (HREE) Staff a committee of 12
employees from various departments that will be selected every 2 years to work
and oversee with the Human resources department to plan and ensure the
implementation and constant development of our organization employment
equity and Human rights plans set in motion. Composed mainly from minority
groups empowered to work directly with the Human resources department to set
in motion a plan that would achieve their yearly targets for the diversification of
the workforce.
Responsibilities
The Peoples Bank of Quebec Human Resources Department
Oversee the implementation of the Organizations Equity and Diversity
Policy.

General Managers and Directors


It is the responsibility of the General Managers and Directors to:

Create and maintain a workplace free from discrimination


Ensure that the Equity and Diversity policy and procedures are available to
all staff, accessible and supported
Assist in investigations by assigning a co-investigator, reviewing results,
making recommendations and ensuring they are acted upon
Implement equity and diversity initiatives within their departments
As appropriate, consult with the Human Resources Departments staff
during the development of policies and programs related to employment,
the delivery of services and other externally focussed activities to ensure
the principles of equity and diversity are respected.

Immediate Supervisors and Managers


Immediate supervisors and managers are responsible for:

o
o
o
o
o

Creating and maintaining a workplace free from discrimination


Intervening when discrimination problems arise
Preventing and ending discrimination by:
Not engaging in behaviour contrary to the Equity and Diversity
Policy
Communicating and supporting the organization's objective of a
workplace free from discrimination
Not ignoring or condoning behaviour that is contrary to the policy
Taking all complaints seriously, discussing the situation with the
respondent, and seeking advice from the Human resources department.
Implementing changes to employment systems, removal of barriers
and other related actions as appropriate
Human Rights and Employment Equity (HREE) Staff
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Employment Equity/ Diversity Case Study


It is the responsibility of the Human Rights and Employment Equity staff to:

Promote a general understanding of the Equity and Diversity policy,


through an appropriate mix of communications, training and advisory
services
Inform individuals of the purpose of the self-identification questionnaire
and assure them that the information collected is confidential and will only
be used for equity and diversity initiatives
Ensure the development of a database to gather and analyse data on
designated groups' representation in the organization's workforce
Formulate the organizations equity and diversity goals, strategies and
plans
Assist management in consultation with Human Resources Services
Branch in the development of recruitment, promotion and retention
strategies
Provide advice to employees and managers regarding the Equity and
Diversity policy, procedures and complaints
Promote and ensure effective implementation of the Equity and Diversity
policy and procedures
Investigate all formal internal discrimination complaints with the assigned
co-investigator
Act as mediator for informally resolving discrimination complaints
Investigate and respond to claims of systemic discrimination
Conduct research, training and other work as determined by the corporate
Equity and Diversity Plan

Employee Assistance Program


Counsel employees affected by discrimination in the workplace

Employees
Employees are responsible for:

Reporting areas where they feel there may be barriers to equal


opportunities
Completing the identification part of the self-identification form and the
voluntary nature of the self-identification of the designated groups
Notifying their supervisor or manager of their need for employmentrelated accommodations, and consulting with the organizations Human
Resources Department on the most appropriate accommodation
Reporting instances where they believe they have been discriminated
against and/or harassed to one of the following individuals: their
immediate supervisor, manager, director, or the Human Rights and
Employment Equity Division. Employees are encouraged to seek a
resolution to their complaint within their respective department

Effective: April 1, 2010


Reviewed: October 16, 2014
Author: Francoise Roy, HR Director

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Employment Equity/ Diversity Case Study


Rationale
Such an inclusive equity policy is needed due to its weight on charging the
employees with the responsibility of carrying out and engaging the in diversity
plan themselves.
For PBQs culture to change it needs to happen from within, at first it will be slow
due to the lack of diversity in the current workforce. As we go forward by a plan
handled by the Human resources department and assigned Human Rights and
Employment Equity (HREE) Staff (composed mainly from minority groups) the
culture will start to change periodically as employees start to get engaged in the
motion. Little by little diversity will become a norm. Once it is, itll be easy to
make it a value for everyone to be proud of and soon after the rewards will start
to reap in as synergy starts to self develop.
Such a policy will empower and enforce diversified employees currently within
the company; this change in equation will enable change in culture to be faster
on an exponential rate. Making the Equity plan achievable in a shorter period of
time and setting the organization on the needed fast track for workforce
development and diversification.
References for Employment Equity Policy:
http://ottawa.ca/en/city-hall/your-city-government/policies-and-administrativestructure/equity-and-diversity-policy

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Employment Equity/ Diversity Case Study

Human Rights Maturity Model (HRMM)


If we look at the different stages of the Maturity model it is pretty clear
that PBQ falls into level 1. Based on the information offered in the case PBQ has
not yet been able to engage their management in an active cultural shift.
As stated in the case, management was reluctant to hire visibly diverse persons
as they felt they would not fit in. Francoise comments on the reluctance of
people who are members of visible minorities to self-identify as they felt that
they would be seen as trying to receive special treatment. This attitude only
serves to further illustrate a deep misunderstanding of the goal of diversity at
PBQ. Other indicators for level 2 are missing as well, for instance there is no
mention of a complaints procedure having been communicated or even created
at PBQ. While it is possible that a procedure was included in Francoise equity
plan, it was not included in the case material so it is assumed it was not present.
PBQ has completed some of the requirements for Level 2. It is evident from the
case that resources have been allocated to this process and it is clear that the
executive branch has made this initiative a priority. The letter from the CEO,
Pierre Belanger to all the managers of the company illustrates this priority. What
is also clear from the information provided is that Francoise has collected the
qualitative information required to implement her initiative i.e.: The conducting
of interviews with frontline managers.

Summary
We have covered various aspects of the case in an attempt to be as detailed and
inclusive as possible with the material and details provided. However it still came
to our conclusion as we have presented throughout the case that:
1. A clear organization wide communication has not been established to
deliver the advantages of a diversified workforce
2. Managers are reluctant to hire minorities in fear of damaging team
performance
3. The Peoples Bank of Quebec are still very young in the HRMM (Level 1)
although they are federally regulated and are in need of complying and
handing it reports, plans, and targets to be achieved.
4. An evaluation process with clearly defined valid and reliable metrics is not
yet in place and this will affect the reporting aspect in HR auditing.
And this is why we have presented the below throughout the case in an attempt
to provide a strategic framework that will foster the beginning of a culture
shift to a better diversified workforce.
1. 3 Steps from the Employment Equity plan
a. Initial Communication to introduce the plan
b. Communicating the plan
c. Evaluating the plan

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Employment Equity/ Diversity Case Study


2. Anti-Harassment policy;
was introduced in our case to protect candidates who will identify
themselves for the workforce analysis from power abuse and other
possible negative offensive conduct.
3. Accommodation Policy;
was introduced to welcome in and establish a framework and commitment
for persons with disabilities in all categories. As well as to deliver a clear
message to the Organizations personnel next to the initial communication
of an equity plan, that the Human Resource Management has openly
started laying the ground work for a culture shift.
4. Equity and Diversity Policy;
Was introduced to counter act, regulate and oversee the hiring
methodologies used and enforce managers to take responsibility and to
comply and embrace the spirit of diversity. Eliminate systemic
discrimination and other barriers affecting recruitment within the
organization.
The Strategic framework of this case study was established to start and light a
candle of diversity, ignite the flame for a very much needed culture shift, the
only thing it can do is empower employees to lead the way. Nothing will change if
the workforce remains stagnant on its values.
We understand the initial phase will introduce some trouble, but with the
empowering message provided by the CEO the message should be clear that
such an initiative will not be compromised.

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