Organizational priorities

From Employment and Social Development Canada

Official title: Employment and Social Development Canada 2016–2017 Departmental Results Report

Strategic direction 1

Develop economic and social policies and programs that support and improve the well-being of families, children and vulnerable groups.

Priority 1

Strengthen income security programs and services, and work with provinces and territories in reducing poverty

Key supporting initiatives for priority 1

Planned Initiatives Status Link to information within the document
Increase the Guaranteed Income Supplement
for low-income seniors living alone and cancel the increase in age eligibility (from 65 to 67) for Old Age Security (OAS), working with the provinces and territories to ensure a coordinated approach for seniors.
The Guaranteed Income Security (GIS)
top-up was increased for the lowest-income single seniors and the age of eligibility for OAS benefits was restored to 65 (from 67).
Income Security
Support Statistics Canada in indexing Old Age Security benefits to a new Seniors Price Index and undertake legislative and operational changes needed to use the new measure to index OAS payments. The Department is leading on indexing of Old Age Security benefits to a new Seniors Price Index in close collaboration with Statistics Canada, which is responsible for the Consumer Price Index. Income Security
Support Finance Canada in developing options to enhance the Canada Pension Plan, consult with Canadians and lead legislative changes required to implement. The Department developed and implemented an Individual Quality Feedback program in fiscal year
2016 to 2017.
Income Security
Renew the Canada Pension Plan Disability Program to ensure it is responsive to the needs of Canadians with severe and prolonged disabilities. The Department agreed with and remains committed to addressing all of the recommendations made by the Standing Committee of Public Accounts on the initial application process, the timeliness of decisions, the consistency and quality of decisions and the timeliness of appeals decided by the Social Security Tribunal of Canada. Income Security
Develop a Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy that will align with and support existing provincial and municipal poverty reduction strategies.
  • Set targets to reduce poverty, measure and publicly report on progress.
  • In support of the Strategy and in response to the federal report “Fairness at Work: Federal Labour Standards for the 21st Century,” develop initiatives that will promote good jobs and decent work.
The development of the Poverty Reduction Strategy is in progress. Poverty Reduction
Work with the Department of Finance, building on the existing Canada Child Tax Benefit and the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCB), to design and implement the Canada Child Benefit and replace the Universal Child Care Benefit. The Canada Child Tax Benefit and NCB Supplement (and the Universal Child Care Benefit, which was not part of the NCB Supplement) were replaced by the new Canada Child Benefit. Social Development

Priority 2

Develop social policy initiatives that address the needs of families and of vulnerable groups, support communities in the development of social infrastructure and advance solutions to social issues through innovative approaches

Key supporting initiatives for priority 2

Planned Initiatives Status Link to  information within the document
Work on the development and implementation of a social infrastructure program that will include affordable housing and cultural and recreational infrastructure. Initiatives under this program will include:
  • supporting the development of a strategy to re-establish the Government’s role in affordable housing; and
  • providing communities with the money they need for Housing First initiatives that help homeless Canadians find stable housing.

Budget 2016 proposed an incremental $111.8 million over two fiscal years (fiscal years 2016 to 2017 and 2017 to 2018) for the Homelessness Partnering Strategy.

The majority of this funding was allocated to regionally delivered streams to enable communities across Canada to bolster their efforts in tackling homelessness by enhancing existing projects, funding additional projects received through previous calls for proposals and running new calls for proposals. The Budget 2016 investment also included an incremental $12.5 million over two years for the Innovative Solutions to Homelessness stream. This investment, along with base funding, enabled the launch of two calls for proposals in fiscal year 2016 to 2017; one for microgrants for small-scale experimental projects and one for larger contribution projects to test innovative approaches to preventing and reducing homelessness.

Social Development
Develop an Early Learning and Child Care Framework in consultation with provinces and territories and Indigenous peoples. Federal, provincial and territorial Ministers announced their agreement on a Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework on June 12, 2017. Early Learning and Child Care
Lead an engagement process with Canadians with disabilities and a broad range of other stakeholders and partners, and provide policy analysis to develop a Canadians with Disabilities Act that will ensure greater accessibility and remove barriers for Canadians with disabilities. Through this engagement process, Canadians had their say on what the new federal accessibility legislation should look like, and the findings from the engagement process were preserved for the development of future Government of Canada policies and programs in relation to disability issues. Social Development
Begin an engagement process to develop a social innovation and social finance strategy that will focus on testing and implementing innovative initiatives and tools that advance solutions to social issues in communities. The nomination process for membership on the Social Innovation and Social Finance Co-Creation Steering Committee was initiated; stakeholders and other departments were engaged to help lay the groundwork for an integrated, whole-of-government approach. Social Development

Strategic direction 2

Transform employment, workforce development and labour policies and programs to address the needs of all Canadians, and support inclusion.

Priority 3

Develop and implement policies, programs and services that support workers and employers, and work with provinces and territories to respond to the realities of today’s labour market

Key supporting initiatives for priority 3

Planned Initiatives Status Link to  information within the document
Provide enhanced Employment Insurance supports and help Canadians find good-quality employment. The enhancements to EI have been introduced to improve income security and labour force participation and are contributing to a skilled, adaptable and inclusive labour force and an efficient labour market. Skills and Employment
In collaboration with other federal departments: 
  • repeal Bills C-377 and C-525;
  • implement a modern fair wages policy; and
  • propose initiatives to ensure that federal institutions are workplaces free from harassment and sexual violence.
The Department drafted and the Minister
of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour tabled Bill C-4, an Act to amend the Canada Labour Code, the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act, the Public Service Labour Relations Act and the Income Tax Act. The Department also advanced implementation of a modern fair wage policy and worked to develop initiatives to ensure that federal institutions and workplaces are free from harassment and sexual violence.
Labour
Develop proposals to provide more generous and flexible leave for caregivers and more flexible parental leave. The Department developed proposals to allow for more generous and flexible leave for caregivers and more flexible parental leave announced in Budget 2017. Labour
Develop amendments to the Canada Labour Code to allow workers in federally regulated workplaces to formally request flexible work arrangements, to provide for enhanced leaves and to expand compliance measures. The Department held consultations on flexible work arrangements in May and June 2016 to support development of amendments to the Canada Labour Code. Labour

Priority 4

Strengthen training and access to post-secondary education and support individuals, including youth and those from vulnerable groups, in acquiring the skills and information they need to participate in the labour market

Key supporting initiatives for priority 4

Planned Initiatives Status Link to  information within the document
Improve opportunities for youth to acquire good-quality and permanent jobs. The Department increased the number of summer jobs created for youth, increased the number of youth with access to Skills Link, increased number of green jobs for youth, supported the improvement of essential skills and continued to work towards creating work-integrated learning placements. Skills and Employment
Support the development of a skilled and well-prepared workforce by improving workers’ access to good-quality training that provides pathways to good careers.  The Department worked with provinces and territories to complete consultations on new Labour Market Transfer Agreement’s and provide increased funding on an interim basis. Skills and Employment
Improve labour market outcomes for Indigenous peoples by supporting economic development and job creation. Through Indigenous labour market programming, the Department supports a full suite of skills development and job training services, including enhanced training aligned with community needs in key areas such as housing construction, water treatment, child care, local administration and infrastructure. As part of the renewal exercise on Indigenous labour market programming, the Department also conducted extensive engagement with Indigenous partners and stakeholders. Skills and Employment
Improve labour market outcomes for new Canadians by supporting the integration of immigrants and refugees into the labour market.  The Department continues to work towards enhancing labour market outcomes of internationally trained workers in target occupations and sectors by developing fair, transparent, consistent and timely foreign qualification assessments and recognitions. Skills and Employment
In collaboration with the participating provinces and territory, explore options to make post-secondary education more affordable for students from low- and middle-income families, including reviewing the eligibility thresholds and amounts of the Canada Student Grant, and revising income thresholds associated with the Repayment Assistance Plan. The Department introduced a 50 percent increase to Canada Student Grants and an increase to the Repayment Assistance Plan income eligibility thresholds to make post-secondary education more affordable for students from low- and middle-income families. Learning
In collaboration with stakeholders, community organizations and businesses, promote the benefits of early education savings in Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) to all Canadians and ease access to the Canada Learning Bond for children from low-income families. The Department is collaborating with a range of partners and stakeholders, including provinces, territories and Indigenous peoples, to further promote the benefits of early saving in RESPs. Learning

Strategic direction 3

Implement a service strategy to design and deliver client-focused, convenient and secure services.

Priority 5

Develop and implement digital tools and automate processes wherever possible across all Employment and Social Development Canada services so Canadians have timely, accurate and responsive access to the information they need and can access all services using digital self-service

Key supporting initiatives for priority 5

Planned Initiatives Status Link to  information within the document
Improve the client service experience by:
  • implementing improvements to digital services (self-serve options);
  • supporting service integration across channels; and
  • improving client feedback mechanisms.
The client service experience was improved with the implementation of self-serve options that enable Employment Insurance claimants to consult the status of their claim and receive messages about their claim via My Service Canada Account. The Department implemented the “birth bundle” with Saskatchewan, which allows parents to apply for a Social Insurance Number, child benefits and birth certificate for their child all at once. All provinces are now on board. Service Network Supporting Government Departments
Continue implementing the OAS Service Improvement Strategy, developing proactive and automatic enrolment processes and streamlining applications through a combination of client and service research, citizen-centred design and user experience testing, while migrating older legacy systems to the newer CPP platform to allow for further integration of processing and expansion of eServices. The Department implemented the second phase of automatic enrolment, developed and tested a new streamlined and integrated application for OAS and GIS, developed improved communication tools to support seniors including an interactive OAS toolkit, and completed detailed planning for system migration from an older legacy IT platform to the newer CPP platform and development of new and expanded eServices. Income Security
Implement the CPP Service Improvement Strategy by: enhancing electronic services and streamlining applications through a combination of client and service research, citizen-centred design and user experience testing; increasing the number of online applications; and increasing processing automation. The Department completed two pilots for CPP Disability. The first focused on improving prioritization of terminally ill and grave condition cases to improve speed of decisions. The second focused on improved client communication during decision-making processing to increase capacity to make better informed decisions earlier in the process. The Department completed planning for the implementation of new and expanded citizen centric eServices and process improvements. Income Security
Complete the last phase of the EI Automation Agenda, reducing the level of manual effort for staff and enhancing self-service functionality for clients, further increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the EI processing model. The Department’s EI Automation Agenda continued to build on earlier initiatives to further increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the EI program. The Department introduced Message Centre services and eNotification Check Status and finalized the development of the Alert Me feature. Skills and Employment
Plan the Benefits Delivery Modernization (BDM) to introduce a target state service delivery model that will result in increased self-service and automation across benefit programs. BDM made significant progress on the pre-planning phase of the project and the required preparations to move into the project definition phase of work were begun. Benefits Delivery Modernization
Modernize the Government of Canada’s web presence and migrate Employment and Social Development Canada web content to the new Canada.ca. The Government of Canada now has one website (Canada.ca) pointing to information and services across the whole of Government, and including content from an increasing number of institutions and one social media account management platform. ESDC/Service Canada is the principal publisher providing the tools and platforms to support Canada.ca while the Treasury Board Secretariat is the policy lead for Canada.ca. ESDC completed the move of its online presence to Canada.ca in January 2017. Service Network Supporting Government Departments
Implement the Call Centre Improvement Strategy by working with Shared Services Canada on the acquisition of a common call centre platform for the Government of Canada. Service Canada has developed a Call Centre Improvement Strategy and advanced planning and readiness activities for the implementation of a Hosted Contact Centre Solution (HCCS) for the Department’s pilot migration site (the National Service Desk) and largest call centre network, the Specialized Call Centres (Employer Contact Centre, Canada Pension Plan / Old Age Security, Employment Insurance). Call Centre Improvement

Priority 6

Build and connect user-friendly infrastructure across services and other departments, working with other government departments to develop a secure single sign-on so clients can access bundled and connected services seamlessly across channels

Key supporting initiatives for priority 6

Planned Initiatives Status Link to  information within the document
Work with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada on:
  • modernizing Passport services by developing a project roadmap which includes a new target operating model; and
  • developing an Identity Linkages solution.
Joint ESDC/Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada Project Team focused on business transformation planning and a joint Treasury Board submission seeking project and expenditure authority to December 2018. Delivery of Services for Other Government of Canada Programs
Work with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to provide clients with access to both My Service Canada Account and the CRA’s My Account through a single login. The Department and the CRA have produced a new integrated online service linking the two organizations’ respective secure portals: My Service Canada Account and My Account. Users can now log in once and access both My Service Canada Account and My Account. Service Network Supporting Government Departments
Advance the development of an administrative proposal to improve Employment Insurance speed of pay and reduce burden on employers and claimants. The Department advanced work, exploring options, for an information service to collect employer payroll data in real time. The initiative is in the preliminary planning phase. Upon implementation, this service could significantly improve delivery of EI benefits. Skills and Employment

Priority 7

Organize for delivery on the service management vision.

Key supporting initiatives for priority 7

Planned Initiatives Status Link to  information within the document
Complete the Inventory Reduction Strategy to reduce the inventory of Employment Insurance claims to levels that will allow the service delivery model to achieve its built-in efficiencies and meet annual speed of payment target of 80%. The Inventory Reduction Strategy was successfully completed and speed of payment for the year was 83.2%, exceeding the 80% target. Skills and Employment
Strengthen pensions workload management to address ongoing workload pressures associated with aging of the population. The Department began the replacement of its current workload management system; implemented new Canada Pension Plan disability service standards in October 2016; and continued implementation of workload strategies to attain workload management objectives. Income Security

Strategic direction 4

Strengthen internal infrastructure to support efficient, cost-effective and secure operations in the organization.

See the “Results: What we achieved” section for further details on priorities and initiatives that support this Strategic Direction.

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