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Hiring Right For Human Rights
What does Human Rights have to do with Hiring Right?
In Canada, the two go hand in hand. Whether you are a job seeker looking for a dream job, or an employer looking for the ideal candidate, you should know that the Canadian human rights legal framework affects all aspects of the relationship with employment, starting with the job interview. Here are some tips for incorporating human rights laws into the interview process.
What is the Human Rights Legal Framework?
The foundation of Canadian human rights law is found in Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It states that all Canadians have the right to equality of opportunity and equality of outcome without discrimination in the areas of employment, provision of goods and services, and housing.
In simple terms, this means that an employer must be open to hiring any individual who has genuine qualifications for the job – the fact that the applicant is a man or a woman, married or single, a member of a visible minority or disabled. should not automatically disqualify that person from consideration and hiring.
In BC the legislation dealing with discrimination is Whether you are an employer or a job seeker, you need to familiarize yourself with this important piece of legislation. see the link at the bottom of the page.
What is Employment Discrimination?
Discrimination occurs when individuals are excluded from, or prevented from, participating in activities or opportunities in which they have a legal right to participate. color or their skin, or where they come from. The purpose of human rights law is to ensure that job-related considerations such as ability, merit and responsibility are used in the evaluation of applicants and employees.
Age, sex, race and disability are some of the personal characteristics that human rights law addresses as prohibited grounds for discrimination. Each federal or provincial Human Rights Code or Act has a specific list of prohibited grounds. In BC the prohibited grounds of employment discrimination are race, colour, descent, place of origin, religion, marital status, familial status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, age, or unrelated criminal or summary conviction.
The law requires an employer to create and maintain a workplace environment free of discrimination and harassment. An employer is required by law to operate its business in a manner that provides equal access to jobs and other opportunities for all employees and to treat all in a non-discriminatory manner.
How to Avoid Discrimination in Recruitment?
If you are an employer, make sure you have a written job description for each position before you begin your interviewing process. Structure this description based on the “bona fide” or true requirements of the job. For example, if a position requires travel, shift work or long work hours, heavy lifting or other physical requirements, permits or licenses, specific educational qualifications or skills, include them facts in your job description.
The advantage of a written job description is that you can use it as a guide to prepare ad and interview questions, and it will ensure that prospective candidates know what the job entails. . Human rights laws require that you do not discriminate, however, you have the right to hire the most suitable candidate for the position you are filling. What is important from a human rights perspective is that you can defend any decisions you make based on the actual job requirements and qualifications of the individuals applying for the position.
Once you have your job description ready, use it to guide you in writing your job advertisement and in preparing your interview questions. It is always better to have a set of written questions that you will ask each candidate in an interview. This ensures that each individual interviewed is asked the same things and reduces the appearance of arbitrary or discriminatory treatment in the interview process. Of course, you should write down each candidate’s answers and keep those on file for the odd chance that an unsuccessful candidate decides to submit a human rights complaint.
The same principles apply when interviewing individuals for internal promotions, transfers, or in disciplinary or performance appraisal situations. Stick to a set of prepared questions related to the specific issue at hand.
What Questions Can an Employer Ask in a Job Interview?
If you are looking for a job, you should make sure you know what your rights are at an employment interview. Basically, a prospective employer can ask you any questions that will help them make a decision on whether or not you are qualified for the position you are applying for. However, an employer who is aware of the law should not ask you questions related to your race, gender, nationality, religion or other grounds protected by law (please see the list provided in tall). Bring any documentation you may need to demonstrate that you have the advertised qualifications required for the position.
You must be ready to answer any question that is directly related to the real requirements of a job.
An employer might ask a candidate, “Are you within the age range of BC’s legal working age?” (19-64), but should not ask his age or date of birth.
An employer may ask if a person is legally entitled to work in Canada, but need not ask an individual where he or she is from.
An employer may ask an individual if he is available for shift work or weekend work if that is part of the job requirements, but need not ask an individual about his religious practices or if the individual has a family or not. . (Eg Ask “Are you available to work on Sundays” rather than “Do you go to church” or “Are you available for shift work” rather than “Are you married” and/or “Do you have a family”)
Similarly, if a position requires travel, an employer should ask an individual if he is available to travel and work at night, rather than asking if he is married, has children, or is pregnant.
If an employer wants details about a person’s work history, the focus should be on the actual work experience, and what the individual did, rather than the country where the work experience took place.
An employer may request an individual to provide any documentation regarding educational qualifications necessary to verify the qualifications. It is the employer’s responsibility to determine whether or not the educational certificate meets Canadian standards, based on the announced standards.
It is good business practice in a job interview for an employer to ask a prospective candidate a question such as “Is there anything that would prevent you from fulfilling all the job requirements as that it is explained to you.” This is important because if the individual tells you that she is pregnant, or has a disability, or a religious practice that interferes with her ability to fulfill all the requirements of the job, the obligation is for the employer to accommodate the future employee. kick the.
Human rights law requires employers to accommodate individuals with similar characteristics protected by human rights law. The law requires employers to accommodate disability, and other protected characteristics such as race, religion and gender, to the point of undue hardship. This means that if you apply for a job and are pregnant, an employer cannot use that fact to disqualify you from the job. If you are the best candidate for the job, the employer should hire you, and then “accommodate” you if necessary. This may mean that your employer has to adjust some of your job duties if your pregnancy interferes with your ability to safely perform that job. This also means that you can take maternity leave when your child is born and know that your employer must hold your job for you until you are ready to return to work.
If you are asked this type of question in a job interview you must be honest about any issues within the prohibited grounds of discrimination in law that may interfere with your ability to perform the job such as described, even if you are concerned that disclosure may affect your chances of employment. If you fail to do this, then accept the job and tell your new boss afterwards, your boss may believe you are unreliable, and may decide to fire you for that reason.
So What Do I Do?
If you are looking for work in BC, you should take the time to familiarize yourself with the law so that you understand your rights. You should know what an employer should and should not ask in a job interview. You need to think ahead about what you will say or do if a potentially discriminatory question is asked in a job interview, and then you need to think about whether or not you want to work for a company that can, know- an or unknown, will allow. discriminatory practices. Think about the type of work environment you feel comfortable in, and use the job interview as a source of information for you to help you decide if this position is right for you.
If you are an employer, you should also take the time to familiarize yourself with the law so that you understand your human rights obligations. In today’s tight labor market, you need to position your business so you can attract and retain the best and brightest the market has to offer. Incorporating good human rights practices into all aspects of the employment relationship, from interviewing to hiring and beyond, makes good business sense.
You can access the BC Human Rights Code at
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