Legislated Employment Equity Program

The Labour Program administers and enforces the mandatory Legislated Employment Equity Program (LEEP) under the Employment Equity Act . LEEP's mandate is to promote, support and enhance employment equity for the four designated groups (women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities) in federally regulated private-sector employers, Crown corporations and other federal organizations that have 100 or more employees and fall under the Employment Equity Act.

The goal is to ensure that federally regulated employers—which include about 500 private-sector employers, 30 Crown corporations and 5 other federal organizations with a combined workforce of over 760 000 employees—reflect the composition of the general labour force in Canada.

Reporting requirements

Every year by June 1, federally regulated private-sector employers, Crown corporations and other federal organizations that have 100 or more employees and are subject to the Employment Equity Act must submit employment equity reports to the Labour Program.

The individual employer report must provide the previous calendar year's information on their overall workforce and the four designated groups. It must consist of:

  • prescribed statistical forms provided by industrial sector, employee status (i.e., permanent full-time, permanent part-time and temporary), occupational group, salary range, hiring, promotion and termination; and
  • a narrative of employment equity activities that the employer conducted, including:
    • measures taken;
    • results achieved following these activities; and
    • consultations between the employer and employee representatives.

The Labour Program receives these reports and verifies them to ensure compliance with the reporting requirements. The statistical forms are made public after they have been analyzed and consolidated into the Employment Equity Act Annual Report, which is tabled in Parliament by the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour (Minister of Labour), as required under the Employment Equity Act.

Compliance policy

It is a violation of the legislation for a federally regulated private-sector employer, a Crown corporation or any other federal organization subject to the Employment Equity Act to:

  • fail to file a report on employment equity with the Minister of Labour by June 1 of each year, without reasonable excuse;
  • omit any information required in the report; or
  • provide false or misleading information in the report.

If an employer violates the Employment Equity Act, the Minister of Labour may issue a monetary penalty within two years of the violation.

Employment Equity Review Tribunal

The Canadian Human Rights Commission is responsible for auditing the federally regulated private and public sectors, including the federal public service. In cases of non-compliance, the Canadian Human Rights Commission will issue a direction to the employer. If the employer fails to abide by the direction, disputes the findings or disagrees with a direction, the case may be referred to the Employment Equity Review Tribunal.

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