Employment Equity Act – Employment Equity Plan – IPG-114

On this page


Employment equity plan under the Legislated Employment Equity Program (LEEP).


This guideline clarifies how employers should prepare, implement and revise their employment equity plan, in compliance with the Employment Equity Act (the Act). It includes guidance and tools for the:


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

Employers must prepare, implement and revise an employment equity plan.

The employment equity plan must:


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 Collection of Workforce Information).

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,

and includes 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.”

Positive policies and practices

Positive policies and practices are measures that create an environment that supports a diverse workforce and the removal of employment barriers. They include general measures that may not explicitly target designated group members, as well as special measures and accommodations.

Employment barriers

An employment barrier is an employment policy or practice that has a disproportionately negative impact on 1 or more members of designated groups (impact) and that:

Special measures

Special measures aim explicitly at attracting, promoting and retaining members of the designated groups to address the ongoing effects of underrepresentation.


Accommodations are flexible initiatives, adjustments and supports to policies, practices and tools that must be provided to a designated group or individual within the group. This allows designated groups or individuals within the groups to participate fully and equally in the workplace — up to the point of undue hardship on the employer, considering health, safety and cost.

Short term

In relation to employment equity plan goals, ‘short term’ means “a period of not less than one year and not more than three years.”

Longer term

In relation to employment equity plan goals, ‘longer term’ means “a period of more than three years.”

Workforce analysis

Workforce analysis determines the underrepresentation of members of designated groups within an employer’s workforce. It does so by comparing the representation of members of designated groups within the employer’s workforce with their representation within the broader Canadian workforce. It includes a flow data analysis, the identification of pay gaps and can involve a clustering analysis.

Canadian workforce

The Canadian workforce refers to “all persons in Canada of working age who are willing and able to work”. It can also refer to parts of that population “identifiable by qualification, eligibility or geography and from which the employer may reasonably be expected to draw employees”. The Minister of Labour provides information on the Canadian workforce to employers. It is based on data from Statistics Canada and is only updated when new data is available.

Flow data analysis

Flow data analysis focuses on occupational movement: hires, promotions, and terminations. It seeks to determine if members of designated groups are over- or under-represented in these movements.

Clustering analysis

A clustering analysis determines if designated group members are in a disproportionately high ratio in:


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.”

Employment Equity Occupational Groups

There are 14 Employment Equity Occupational Groups (EEOGs):

Employment systems review

The employment systems review is a review of the employer’s employment systems, policies and practices to identify employment barriers to persons in designated groups.

Employment systems, policies and practices

Employment systems, policies and practices include all of an organization’s formal and informal policies and practices. Formal policies and practices are official and written rules of conduct in the workplace. Informal policies and practices are not official and not written, but they are the norms that employees actually follow and practice in the workplace.


Employers must prepare, implement and revise an employment equity plan.

The plan must specify activities that employers will establish in the short term, including:

Employers must set a timetable for implementing the positive policies and practices, accommodations and measures to eliminate employment barriers in their employment equity plan.

For each Employment Equity Occupational Group where the workforce analysis has found underrepresentation, employers must set:

When setting these short term numerical goals, employers must consider:

Employers must also set:

Employers must ensure that their employment equity plan would, if implemented, show reasonable progress toward implementing employment equity as required by the Act.

Employers must:

At least once during the period covered by the short term numerical goals, employers must also:

Employers must establish and maintain the following records:


How to write an employment equity plan

The employment equity plan should be a thorough summary of:

The Create, Implement, and Sustain an Employment Equity Plan task (Employment Equity Task 5) provides an employment equity plan template. It includes employment equity plan tables where employers can document the workforce analysis and employment systems review, as well as set the goals and plan the measures.

Positive policies and practices, and accommodations

Employers should have, at a minimum, three formal written policies:

Employers should also make the employment equity information available in alternative formats, when an employee makes a request.

Employment Equity Task 5 provides examples of positive policies and practices, including special measures and accommodations.

Setting short and longer term goals

Goals should be sufficient to ensure reasonable progress towards closing each representation gap. This means being above or, at a minimum, equal to availability, as identified in the workforce analysis.

When establishing longer term goals, employers should consider:

Employers should create appropriate mechanisms to:

Employment Equity Task 5 provides additional guidance on setting goals.

Reasonable progress

Employers have made reasonable progress toward implementing employment equity if:

Employers should consider additional elements in specific circumstances:

Reasonable efforts

Employers have made all reasonable efforts toward implementing their employment equity plan if:

Monitoring procedures

Employers should set timeframes and processes to:

Employment Equity Task 5 provides additional guidance on monitoring.

Review and revision of an Employment Equity Plan

When reviewing and revising their employment equity plan, employers should:

Employers should assess additional elements in specific circumstances:

Further guidance

Further guidance on the employment equity plan is provided here.

Related links

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: