Employment Equity Regulations – Collection of Workforce Information – IPG-111

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Collection of workforce information under the Legislated Employment Equity Program (LEEP).


This guideline clarifies how employers should collect information on their workforce when implementing employment equity, in compliance with:

It includes guidance and tools for:


LEEP covers federally regulated private-sector employers, including Crown corporations and other federal organizations subject to the Act.

Employers must collect information on their workforce using a self-identification questionnaire and any relevant information contained in any other employment records. Employers must then use this information to determine any underrepresentation of members of designated groups in the workforce analysis.

Employers may only count employees who identify voluntarily as members of:

The information collected is confidential and employers must only use it for implementing employment equity under the Act.


Designated groups

Designated groups are “women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities.”


The Act does not define women. Guidance is available for collecting data on women (see Interpretations).

Aboriginal peoples

Aboriginal peoples are “persons who are Indians, Inuit or Métis.” Indigenous peoples’ and ‘First Nations’ are more commonly used than ‘Aboriginal peoples’ and ‘Indians.’

Persons with disabilities

Persons with disabilities are “persons who have a long-term or recurring physical, mental, sensory, psychiatric or learning impairment and who

  1. consider themselves to be disadvantaged in employment by reason of that impairment, or
  2. believe that a [sic] employer or potential employer is likely to consider them to be disadvantaged in employment by reason of that impairment,

are persons whose functional limitations owing to their impairment have been accommodated in their current job or workplace.”

Members of visible minorities

Members of visible minorities are “persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour.”


Employee means a “person who is employed by the employer, but does not include a person employed on a temporary or casual basis for fewer than 12 weeks in a calendar year.”


Hired means an employee has been “engaged by the employer.”


Promoted means an employee has “permanently moved from one position or job in the employer’s organization to another position or job that

  1. has a higher salary or higher salary range than the salary or salary range of the position or job previously held by the employee, and
  2. ranks higher in the organizational hierarchy of the employer.”


Terminated means “retired, resigned, laid off, dismissed or otherwise having ceased to be an employee, but does not include laid off temporarily or absent by reason of illness, injury or a labour dispute.”

Return rate

The return rate is the number of self-identification questionnaires that employees returned divided by the number of questionnaires that employers sent to employees.

Response rate

The response rate is the number of self-identification questionnaires that employees fully completed divided by the number of questionnaires that employers sent to employees.

Employment Equity Occupational Groups

There are 14 Employment Equity Occupational Groups (EEOGs):


Employers must conduct a workforce survey. To do so, they must provide each employee with a self-identification questionnaire that asks if the employee is:

The employer must inform each employee that a person may be a member of one or more designated group(s). This information must be on the questionnaire or in a notice that accompanies the questionnaire.

The questionnaire must also have the following features:

The employer may require that employees return the questionnaire.

The questionnaire may include additional questions relating to employment equity.

The employer must keep the workforce survey results up to date. This requires:

Employers must establish and maintain the following records:


Self-identification questionnaire

Employers who use the Labour Program self-identification questionnaire template (Employment Equity Task 1) comply with the workforce survey requirements.

Employers can use information obtained from payroll or personnel records to count the employees who are women. However, if such information is not available, the self-identification questionnaire should ask if employees identify as a woman. Note that it is optional for employees to respond to this question.

Employers should keep additional questions relating to employment equity separate from the required self-identification questions. It should be clear that the Act and the Regulations do no require these additional questions.

The questionnaire can also include questions to support diversity and inclusion-based initiatives the organization undertakes. These questions must be separate from the employment equity content. It must be clear that the Act and the Regulations do not require these questions.

The questionnaire should indicate clearly that the employee may change their survey answers at any time.

Names and definitions of designated groups

Employers may provide contextual information on the names and definitions of the designated groups to support self-identification. The self-identification questionnaire template has examples of such contextual information.

Survey implementation

Employers should make a concerted effort to achieve and maintain, at minimum, 80% return and response rates.

If the employer undertakes a new workforce survey, they should demonstrate that:

Maintaining data

Employers should demonstrate that there is a process by which they keep the workforce data up to date. This requires:

Further guidance

Further guidance on the collection of workforce information is provided here.

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