Labour Funding Program – International Trade and Labour

Official title: Labour Funding Program – Grants and Contributions – International Trade and Labour –Terms and Conditions

1.0 Program Description

1.1 Introduction

The Government of Canada is committed to addressing the labour dimensions of economic integration and trade. It does so by promoting good governance, the rule of law, respect for national and international standards, and a more equitable distribution of the benefits of globalization, as well as by participating in domestic and international efforts to improve respect for labour rights and improved health and safety in the workplace.

The LFP is designed to support the Government of Canada to meet these commitments in Canada and internationally by providing financial assistance to eligible organizations for projects and activities that directly support these commitments.

In Canada, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Human Rights Act, the Employment Equity Act, the Canadian Labour Code, and a variety of provincial and territorial legislation provide legislative and policy frameworks that aim to ensure that employers under the federal jurisdiction do not discriminate on the basis of sex and address the differential impacts of labour related challenges experienced by diverse groups.

International labour standards and conventions provide a legal framework for promoting, implementing and enforcing labour standards aimed at achieving fair and stable globalization. The International Labour Organization (ILO) provides a forum for Canada as a Member State to inform policy development and promote Canadian values. International labour standards and conventions are further supported by related United Nations conventions to which Canada is a signatory, such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

1.2 The Program - Internationally

Canada meets its international commitments by participating in key multilateral institutions and through international and intergovernmental agreements, arrangements and treaties.

Canada provides technical assistance or engages in related cooperative activities, as a means of addressing the labour dimensions of globalization.

Canada's technical assistance and foreign-based cooperative activities help developing partner countries build the capacity they need to effectively apply and enforce their labour laws and thereby meet their obligations under labour agreements.

A Free Trade Agreement (FTA) entered into between Canada and another State is normally accompanied by parallel agreements, including a Labour Cooperation Agreement (LCA). The LFP provides the mechanism for Canada to enter into cooperative activities and provide technical assistance to support the implementation and enforcement of the labour-related commitments set out in LCAs and other non-FTA cooperative frameworks with other countries.

LFP provides the mechanism for Canada to meet commitments emanating from participation in key international institutions/forums and international agreements. Organizations may prepare and publish reports on labour issues, promote social dialogue, oversee cooperative activities, and intergovernmental consultations, and manage independent evaluations and dispute resolution related to the enforcement of labour laws.

LFP also meets Canada's commitment to international efforts in support of social dialogue. Social dialogue is critical to good policy-making and implementation, and, in Canada, helps foster support for Canada's international trade and labour agendas.

1.3 The Program - In Canada

Canada meets its domestic commitments by participating in social dialogue and the exchange of labour-related policy and information among representatives of governments; employer and worker organizations; academia and non government organizations. LFP provides Canada with a mechanism to pursue joint union and employer initiatives that promote productive, innovative, fair and accessible workplaces and improve labour-management relations. Other program investments to improve workplace health and safety and increase knowledge on fire prevention further increase Canada's capacity to meet its commitments.

1.4 Program Streams

LFP has three streams:

  • International Trade and Labour (ITL)
  • Occupational Health and Safety (OHS)
  • Workplace Equity (WE)

2.0 Objectives and Outcomes

2.1 Program Strategic Objective

To work in collaboration with governments, intergovernmental organizations, non government organizations, employers, unions and employees to support Labour Program's Strategic Outcome "safe, fair, and productive workplaces and cooperative workplace relations" in Canada and abroad.

2.2 Objectives Specific to the Program

  • Promote respect for fundamental labour rights and international obligations through capacity building of labour administrations and exchange of good practice in the areas of labour relations and working conditions;
  • Develop and transfer knowledge on effective approaches to address the labour dimensions of globalization in Canada and internationally;
  • Strengthen relationships that foster collaboration, partnership, alliances and networks to address labour issues;
  • Support the capacity of governments, labour and management, and employers and employees to identify and address labour issues; and,
  • Promote knowledge sharing through the development, exchange and application of knowledge, tools and resources that address labour issues and/or sustain or enhance labour practices and labour relations.

3.0 International Trade and Labour (ITL)

3.1 Eligible Recipients:

Categories of eligible recipients under the ITL stream are:

  • International labour or labour-related organizations, and international and national organizations mandated to assist countries in meeting their obligations under a LCA or other cooperative framework, including, but not limited to:
    • The International Labour Organization (ILO), including its regional offices;
    • The World Health Organization (WHO); and,
    • The Organization of American States (OAS).
  • Other categories of organizations are:
    • Legally incorporated, national and international, not-for-profit organizations providing technical assistance on labour issues;
    • Secretariats or international organizations mandated with the administration of the labour dimension of trade agreements as established by Canada and its partner countries under current, planned, and future LCAs; and,
    • Publicly funded universities and colleges.

3.2 Grants - Description of Eligibility and Entitlement

  • Eligible grant recipients must further demonstrate that the organization:
  • Is legally constituted;
  • Has objectives that are aligned with LFP objectives; and,
  • Has governance structures and mechanisms in place to support financial and performance management and reporting.

3.3 Eligible Initiatives or Projects:

Categories of eligible initiatives or projects under the ITL stream are:

  • Initiatives that address the labour dimension of globalization in the following ways:
    • Supporting the capacity of partner governments to meet their obligations under LCAs;
    • supporting other foreign-based labour cooperation activities under Cooperation Frameworks and Memoranda of Understanding with non FTA countries; and,
    • supporting measures identified by global or regional consensus through national, regional and international organizations and institutions and viewed as important to addressing the socio-labour dimensions of globalization.
  • Initiatives that enable Canada to meet its international obligations and commitments and undertake initiatives to support international labour institutions in which Canada participates:
    • Financial assistance will be provided to ensure Canada meets its obligations to international labour institutions and secretariats pertaining to labour cooperation agreements and successor agreements to labour cooperation agreements; and,
    • financial assistance may be provided to international labour institutions for initiatives designed to address the labour dimensions of globalization.

3.4 Outcomes

The ITL contributes to the following outcomes:

Immediate Outcomes

Immediate Outcome #1: Social dialogue occurs to address labour issues, including labour issues related to Labour Cooperation Agreements. LFP will foster bipartite and tripartite collaboration and cooperation to foster knowledge and understanding of international labour standards and labour issues facing target populations.

Immediate Outcome #2: Capacity developed to address labour issues, including labour issues related to Labour Cooperation Agreements. Opportunities for dialogue, knowledge building and information sharing are expected to increase capacity to address labour issues.

Performance Indicators

  • Outcome #1: # of projects/activities that support social dialogue to address labour issues.
  • Outcome #2: # of projects/activities to support development of knowledge, skills and tools to increase capacity to address labour issues.

Intermediate Outcome

Labour issues, including issues related to Labour Cooperation Agreements, are being addressed. Increased knowledge and capacity are expected to result in the development and implementation of Action Plans to address labour issues.

Performance Indicator

  • # of Action Plans being negotiated or implemented to address labour issues.

Ultimate Outcome

Increased partner countries’ enforcement of internationally accepted labour legislation. Commitment to develop and implement Action Plans to address identified labour issues is expected to result in increased monitoring and enforcement of adherence to labour standards and legislation.

Performance Indicator

  • Enforcement of labour legislation has increased in areas funded by the LFP.

4.0 Program Eligible Expenditures

4.1 The purchase of real property is not an eligible expense for LFP funding support.

4.2 Eligible expenditures are those considered necessary to support the purpose of the funding and shall not exceed the total budget authorized by the agreement. Expenditures may cover costs such as:

  • Wages and employment-related costs for staff;
  • fees for professional service;
  • materials and supplies;
  • printing and communication;
  • reasonable travel and accommodation costs;
  • utilities;
  • insurance;
  • rental of premises;
  • rental, lease, purchase and maintenance of equipment;
  • licenses;
  • translation;
  • evaluations and assessments;
  • performance monitoring and reporting costs;
  • data collection and other administrative costs based on approved methodologies; and,
  • accommodation costs to support persons with disabilities.

The level of funding is determined based on program eligible expenditures or the level of Canada's resource commitment to international institutions and labour secretariats.

5.0 Program Stacking Limit

5.1 Where possible and appropriate, the costs of an eligible activity will be shared with the recipient. However, where the sharing of costs with the recipient and other organizations is not feasible, total government assistance (federal, provincial or municipal) may total 100% of eligible costs or total expenditures.

5.2 The exception to 7.1 is joint labour-management agreements. The total government assistance (federal, provincial or municipal) may not exceed 50% of eligible costs or total expenditures.

5.3 Where funding from other sources is anticipated to support the eligible expenditures, the department shall ensure that the level of its contribution takes this funding into consideration.

5.4 In the event that total government assistance, as defined in the TBS Directive on Transfer Payments, exceeds the amount received or declared by a recipient, the department has the right to reduce its contribution by the amount of any additional assistance that is to be received, or to require repayment of an amount equal to the amount of such assistance, if the department's contribution has already been paid.

6.0 Program Financial Instruments

6.1 The program uses two funding instruments: grants and contributions. Grants are used to fund low- to moderate-risk proposals. Contributions are used to fund higher risk proposals. The level of risk is determined through a risk assessment, management and mitigation strategy.

6.2 When a grant is considered the most appropriate funding instrument (i.e., in proposals assessed as low- to moderate-risk), there are two options:

  • Funding requests under $25,000 may be made through an exchange of letters. Funding requests of $25,000 and more require an application/agreement or a proposal and separate agreement/arrangement. Footnote 1
  • Grants to international institutions and secretariats are made in accordance with international commitments and obligations, agreed to by Canada.

6.3 When a contribution is considered the most appropriate funding instrument, a proposal is required and a separate agreement/arrangement Footnote 2 will be negotiated with the successful applicant.

7.0 Program Basis of Payment

7.1 Grants and Contributions

7.1.1 Payments to recipients will be made in a timely, prudent and efficient manner that supports the achievement of objectives and recognizes the risks involved. It will include one or a combination of the following:

  • Instalments (in relation to grants);
  • reimbursement of eligible expenditures; and/or
  • advances.

The level of funding to foreign recipients will be based on one of two factors:

  • Canada's level of commitment to meet international labour-related obligations; or,
  • an assessment of the proposal/application based on the information in this document - section 7 (stacking limits) and section 11 (information required, criteria for assessment) - as well as consultations with other relevant government departments and international institutions.

7.1.2 Grants

Payments to grant recipients will be subject to eligibility and other criteria.

  • Verification of eligibility of the recipient is required prior to the initial instalment and subsequent annual verification, as a minimum.
  • Cashflow forecasts for the timely conduct of the activities/projects.

Notwithstanding the approved duration of the funding agreement, payments will be linked to reviews based on annual reports to confirm continuous eligibility and report on results achieved. Pre-determined performance expectations and milestones for reporting will be kept at a minimum and outlined in the funding agreement. Results of eligibility assessments and other reviews may lead to the early termination of the agreement.

7.1.3 Contributions

Payments will be made, as appropriate, via monthly or quarterly progress payments based on expenditure claims, or via advance payments based on a cash-flow forecast and a final payment of any sums due following receipt of the final claim.

For advance payments, an initial payment will be made to recipients based on a cash-flow forecast for a specific period. Subsequent advance payments will be calculated by taking the planned amount for the next period minus any excess amount the recipient has on hand from previous payments.

Progress payments will be provided to recipients on the basis of written claims supported by substantiating documentation as may be required by the Program.

Any payments that exceed the amount to which the contribution recipient is entitled are debts to the Crown and must be repaid. An overpayment will be established in the Departmental Accounts Receivable System (DARS).

Notwithstanding the approved duration of funding, payments will be linked to financial and/or performance reviews as appropriate. Milestones and/or performance conditions for reporting will be outlined in the contribution agreement. Pre-determined performance expectations will be met by the recipient through reports submitted on a regular basis, which will include a description of activities and progress towards achieving results. Results of financial and/or performance reviews may lead to the early termination of the project.

Any interest earned by a recipient on the advance payments paid by Canada shall be accounted for by the recipient. The interest may be retained by the recipient and used to defray program funding costs related to Eligible Projects and Eligible Expenditures.

8.0 Maximum Amount Payable

8.1 The duration of the Program's funding support will be up to a maximum of five years per agreement, subject to appropriations by Parliament.

8.2 Grants

The maximum level of multi-year financial support per grant agreement or arrangement is $5,000,000 per fiscal year, subject to the recipient meeting eligibility requirements and reporting on results achieved, as appropriate. Support will be negotiated and, where possible and appropriate, costs will be shared by recipients or other stakeholders. Total funding may not exceed $20,000,000 per agreement.

8.3 Contributions

The maximum level of multi-year financial support per contribution agreement or arrangement is $1,000,000 per fiscal year, subject to the performance conditions as specified in the funding agreement, as appropriate. Support will be negotiated and, where possible and appropriate, costs will be shared by recipients or other stakeholders. Total funding may not exceed $5,000,000 per agreement.

9.0 Ongoing Eligibility for Grants

Grant recipients will be required to provide, on an annual basis, a statement of continued eligibility and a copy of their annual report which would demonstrate achievements and continuing eligibility.

10.0 Program Information Required and Criteria for Assessment

10.1 Proposals and applications will be accepted through regular, transparent and fair intake processes. Intake processes may include solicited, unsolicited and directed proposals/applications.

Proposals and applications must include all required information and data as set out in the Program's administrative requirements.

Preference will be given to organizations that demonstrate a commitment to:

  • Working with government, other partners and stakeholders to identify and address labour-related issues;
  • generating knowledge and promoting innovation in labour practices and labour relations; and/or,
  • expanding collaboration, networks and supporting ongoing alliances based on common labour-related goals.

10.2 Grants and Contributions

Proposals/applications for funding must, at a minimum, include information on the organization's legal status and must:

  • Address one or more objectives of the Program;
  • demonstrate that the proposal fits within Program priorities;
  • describe the activities to be undertaken in pursuit of the stated objectives (contributions only);
  • identify the expected results within a specified timeframe and the impact this will have on the stated objectives;
  • identify a proposed process for performance measurement and evaluation of the results;
  • outline a process by which products/results will be disseminated;
  • provide a detailed estimate of expenditures to be incurred;
  • disclose the involvement of former public servants who are under the Conflict of Interest and Post-employment Guidelines; and,
  • declare amounts owing in default to the Government of Canada.

In assessing proposals/applications for funding, the following criteria will be considered:

  • The sponsoring organization's eligibility is demonstrated;
  • the objectives and expected results fit within Program priorities (grants);
  • the activities, objectives and expected results fit within Program priorities (contributions);
  • the expected results and timeframes are provided;
  • the expected results are attainable, tangible and measurable;
  • the approach and/or methodology is sound;
  • the benefit of project deliverables (products or outputs) for intended beneficiaries;
  • a demonstrated ability or reasonable expectation of ability to deliver on intended results;
  • the performance indicators provide accurate measures to report on progress toward achieving intended results;
  • the budget is reasonable and cost-effective;
  • the budget forecast is provided; and,
  • involvement of former public servants who are under the Conflict of Interest and Post-employment Guidelines is disclosed.

11.0 Program Information Required for Financial and Performance and Reporting

11.1 Grants

Recipients will be required to submit annual reports to confirm continuing eligibility for the grant and progress towards achieving results. At a minimum, annual reports and final reports are required to support the Program's performance management strategy and departmental reporting.

A final report will be submitted by grant recipients and will include information on results achieved, which will be recorded in the Program's information management database. The level of reporting on project results will be established via the agreement and will be in proportion to the value of the grant. Project results will be used to support the Program's performance management strategy and departmental reporting.

11.2 Contributions

Recipients will be required to submit financial claims and regular progress reports that outline activities completed and progress towards achieving results.

The frequency of financial and performance reporting will be based on assigned risk, using the Department's Risk Assessment, Management and Mitigation (RAMM) approach.

A final report will be submitted by contribution recipients and will include information on results achieved, which will be recorded in the Program's information management database. Information on project results will be used to support the Program's performance management strategy and departmental reporting.

12.0 Program Redistribution of Contributions

12.1 In fulfilling the terms of the agreement or arrangement, contribution recipients may need to further distribute project funds to local, regional or member organizations. Where funds are redistributed by the recipient, the recipient remains accountable for the financial and results management of the overall agreement or arrangement.

12.2 In carrying out projects, contribution recipients may have to procure goods and services needed to perform the project. When contracting or subcontracting, principles of accountability for results and fairness, and best value for money must be respected.

12.3 Within these principles of accountability, full disclosure on the intended use of contribution funds must be respected. The goal is to promote greater rigour in assessing the proposed use of contribution funds before signing contribution agreements, as well as in the monitoring and approval of claims during contribution agreement administration.

12.4 In projects involving the further distribution of contributions by the recipient to one or more persons or entities, the agreement will make clear, either expressly or by implication, that the recipient has independence in the choice of those persons or entities, with minimal guidance from ESDC and the Labour Program, and will not be acting as the agent for the government in making the distribution.

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