Federal Contractors Program
The Labour Program administers and enforces the Federal Contractors Program (FCP). FCP ensures that contractors who do business with the Government of Canada seek to achieve and maintain a workforce that is representative of the Canadian workforce, including members of the four designated groups under the Employment Equity Act:
- Aboriginal peoples – persons who are Indians, Inuit or Métis;
- persons with disabilities – persons with a long-term or recurring physical, mental, sensory, psychiatric or learning impairment who consider themselves to be disadvantaged in employment by reason of that impairment or who believe that an employer or potential employer is likely to consider them to be disadvantaged in employment by reason of that impairment, and includes individuals with functional limitations due to their impairment that have been accommodated in their current job or workplace; and
- members of visible minorities – persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour.
The Program applies to provincially regulated contractors that:
- have a combined workforce in Canada of 100 or more permanent full-time and permanent part-time employees; and
- have received an initial federal government goods and services contract valued at $1 million or more (including applicable taxes).
Agreement to Implement Employment Equity
Contractors who bid on an initial goods and services contract estimated at $1 million or more (including applicable taxes) with the Government of Canada must first certify their commitment to implement employment equity by signing the Agreement to Implement Employment Equity (LAB1168) prior to contract award.
Once an eligible contract is awarded to the contractor, the contractor is assigned a unique Agreement to Implement Employment Equity number. The contractor is informed by the Labour Program that it is now subject to the FCP. As a result, the contractor is then required to fulfill the FCP requirements. This obligation is ongoing.
Once a contractor receives an eligible contract from the Government of Canada, the contractor must fulfill the following requirements:
- collect workforce information;
- complete a workforce analysis and an achievement report;
- establish short-term and long-term numerical goals; and
- make reasonable efforts to ensure that reasonable progress is made towards having full representation of the four designated groups within its workforce.
Compliance assessments are conducted by Labour Program officers to ensure that a contractor fulfills the terms of its Agreement to Implement Employment Equity by meeting the requirements of the FCP. A first compliance assessment is conducted one year after a contractor enters into an initial contract. Subsequent assessments are conducted every three years thereafter.
A compliance assessment ends with a finding of either compliance or non-compliance. In situations of non-compliance, the contractor may appeal to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour (Minister of Labour) and an independent assessor may be appointed to review the findings. If the results of the independent review indicate a failure to comply, sanctions will be applied.
If a contractor is found in non-compliance or wishes to withdraw from the FCP, then the contractor's name will be placed on the FCP Limited Eligibility to Bid List Footnote 1, the contractor’s Agreement to Implement Employment Equity number will be deactivated and the contractor will lose the right to bid on federal government goods and services contracts, standing offers or supply arrangements of any value. Non-compliance or withdrawal from the FCP may also result in the termination of the contract.
A contractor may be reinstated to the FCP after agreeing to go through a compliance assessment and be found in compliance.
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