Ontario Human Rights Commission releases policy on removing the “Canadian experience” barrier

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On July 15 2013, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (“OHRC”) released its Policy on Removing the “Canadian Experience” Barrier.

The purpose of the Policy was to address the fact that many university trained new immigrant lacking Canadian work experience are denied opportunities for jobs or career advancement. The Policy was based an outcome of academic research based on Statistics Canada data and the OHRC’s own survey about employment barriers.

Employers and regulatory bodies will still ask about applicant’s previous work but where the experience has gotten does not matter. The policy provides guidance to employers on how to develop practices, policies and programs that do not result in discrimination (see more).

Relatively recent CBC’ news reports of the Star including an apology letter from Royal Bank of Canada illustrate grim reality of systemic barriers and discriminatory practices imposed on many new immigrants both in the corporate and non-profit sector. Yet, the full impact on the policy will be understood only when the first few cases will be argued at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.

 

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