Standard for Information and Communications
We know that the AODA employment standards requirements are demanding because we have heard about the challenges from those organizations with 50+ employees that were obligated to comply in January 2016. Smaller employers with fewer resources may need additional assistance to keep track of the project, including reviewing, updating and implementing many HR forms and documents such as job offers, employment contracts, job postings and applications to ensure they are consistent with the new accessibility standards.
Looking at an Ontario Human Rights Commission discussion paper released in 2001, the aspects that make what is called intersectionality so appealing to a modern view of identity is that it does not pigeon hole a person as being represented by a sole code ground, or identity that is legally protected against discrimination.
The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: legislative amendments that expanded the access to Employment Insurance benefits; a case where a former employee was awarded six months’ compensation in lieu of notice after she had declined a severance package offered to her by the employer; further recent updates regarding the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
When creating policies that make statements about accessibility, attempts should be made to view disability as a social system instead of a schedule of impairments in order to align an organization’s forward movement with principles of Human Rights. Also, the time is long past due for an evaluation of how intersecting identities can create unique accessibility and accommodation needs.
Mastering the ins and outs of the duty to accommodate under human rights legislation is hard. In fact, some would go so far as to say impossible. It’s no wonder this topic has floated to the top of the list of challenges faced by HR practitioners. I’ve given this some thought and come up with a number of rules that I feel should be followed in all cases.
Recent news in the media has highlighted competing perspectives on mental health, one story focusing on the importance of mental health privacy, and the other campaigning for speaking out about mental health. Wednesday Jan 27, 2016 has been designated as the Bell Let’s Talk day, meaning let’s talk about mental illness, as part of Bell’s multi-year campaign around the issue. This seems in contrast to a recent human rights decision about student mental health privacy rights at York University.
In less than eight weeks, small and large organizations in Ontario will face a new set of legal obligations under the AODA’s Employment Standard and Information and Communications Standard.
I am guessing that there are a few business owners who are scratching their heads with regards to new information concerning an AODA “Audit Blitz” for retail organizations. In a field pot marked with consulting companies one would figure that the use of terminology that strikes fear into the hearts of businesses is a little unnecessary. Granted, accessibility is a crucial part of the business landscape in Ontario, but scaring the bejesus out of business owners is counterproductive.
Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with Ontario AODA requirements for 2016; EI premium rates for 2016; and the duty to mitigate.
Consultation and feedback processes should not be underestimated. Doing away with the old systems of decision making provides for a more thorough engagement with those groups that would represent gaps in policy and operations.
It would seem that there is some movement towards a more motivated government with regards to leadership and the AODA…
People with disabilities have traditionally been excluded from decision-making, holding roles of importance, exercising personal autonomy and obtaining gainful employment. Although the view prescribed to people with disabilities has shifted over the years, there persists an underlying theme in which the overarching narrative is one of cultural mistrust.