IsEmployment Equity Fair and Necessary?
IsEmployment Equity Fair and Necessary?
Theidea of employment equity has excited the global business economicdebates for a long time since its conception in 1984 by Judge RosalieSilberman, the then Canada’s Royal Commission on Equality inEmployment administrator. Similar to what the United States referredto as the affirmative action, employment equity encompasses all theendeavors the employers partake to ensure that there are nodiscriminations regarding recruitment, performance appraisals,employee training and development, staff motivation, and welfareconsiderations (Verbeek, 2011). Although the skeptics of thispractice utilize the challenges related to the divided interests ofthe tripartite employment associations comprising of the government,employees, and employers, employment equity remains a fair andnecessary tool for creating balance in the Canadian workplace asdiscussed in the ensuing series of paragraphs:
First,the contributions of the concept of employment equity towards theelimination of the job barriers that confronted the Canadian women,aboriginal citizens, persons with disabilities, and the members ofthe minorities cannot be overwritten. Notably, Canada’s RoyalCommission on Equality in Employment, during the reign of JudgeRosalie, mapped systematic discrimination geared towards the fourgroups mentioned above as the reason for their exclusion fromorganization hiring (Klarsfeld et al., 2014). In other words, thenation was faced with a situation where one was not hired simplybecause he or she was not white (racial prejudice), or because thecandidate was female (gender discrimination), physically or mentallydisabled, or from a marginalized group. It didn’t matter howqualified an individual was, the recruitment was purely preserved fora specific category of people. So, when the concept of employmentequity came to life, it released the discrimination tension off theworkplace and gave every candidate who met the qualification criteriato get recruitment consideration. Therefore, the Commission made aprudent decision to spearhead the implementation of the concept aspart of the constitution, which is termed as the Employment EquityAct. Even though some may perceive the step as a threat to the white,male, majority, and physically fit populations in reducing theirchances of getting employed, that wouldn’t be a genuine point ofcriticizing the practice of employment equity. Therefore, it is afair and necessary notion in the workplace of Canada, that is, for agovernment, employer, and employees who care to establish a state ofequilibrium marked with satisfaction for all the involved parties.That way, the country will continue to grow due to high workforceperformance that follows unbiased recruitment process.
Second,employment equity plays a vital role in building an atmosphere ofimpartiality within the employing organization. Realistically, everyinstitution has a leading aim of meeting all the projected businessgoals and objectives while using the available material and humanresources. On that regard, one question is worth answering than justposting: How possible is it for an entity to prosper with a group ofdemotivated workers? At this point, it is imperative noted that themost useful asset in determining the success of a corporation is theworkforce. If the employees remain positive about their duties andthe employer because they feel motivated, cared for, and valued, theorganization is as good as achieving its intended missions (Creese &Wiebe, 2012). And that is where employment equity comes in.Earnestly, every staff member is entitled to reward following asuperior performance. Besides, employees must share in the job offopportunities to reduce the work-family conflict that may reduceperformance. Also, those who require training programs for skillacquisition should have that chance irrespective of gender and raceamong other potential discriminatory areas. Finally, when performanceappraisals are being filled, the supervisors must not apply bias intheir judgments but rather, award workers their deserved points tofacilitate organization growth (Stallings & Peres, 2010). All theabove considerations are achievable in Canada, thanks to theenactment and adoption of the notion of employment equity in thecountry. Those who criticize the efficiency of the Act in ensuringthat the workers remained satisfied and committed to the employer maybe doing so using several arguments. The most common view is thatthere is often conflicting interests between the staff and employerson the types of reward or motivations to offer (Creese & Wiebe,2012). For example, an administrator may perceive acknowledging aworker’s effort through positive comments while, in the actualsense, the former would wish to have monetary reward. Also, somemanagers are intrinsically biased, and any attempt to conduct aperformance appraisal would amount to misleading results. As much asthese arguments are strong, it is incisive to specify that a conceptshould not be downplayed on the basis of one or two cons. The truthis that there are myriads of strengths related to employment equity,and Canada did just right to implement it.
Third,the introduction of employment equity act has been decisive inenhancing access and distribution in the entire occupations and atevery level for all the races, genders, minority/majority groups, andthe physically disabled. Instead of criticizing a system that allowswomen to compete for job positions with their peer men, the people ofcolor to work with the whites, and the minorities to be heard in theworkplace, it would be best to find more appropriate ways to ensurethat the Act works best. So far, the Canadian employment sector hasharnessed considerable benefits from the idea. Better still theestablishment of the Federal Contractors Program-FCP has seen theintroduction of policies that the employer must observe. Mainly,organizations with 100 plus workers, and owning federalgoods/services USD 200,000 are directed to sign a commitment meant toput employee practice into action (Creese & Wiebe, 2012). Theconflicting issue of dress code easily solved at present in Canadathrough the act, which permits slight modification of an employee’sattire to contain the job environment and his or her religiousposition. For example, a Muslim female worker is allowed to put on ahead covering to eliminate any possibility of religious tension atthe workplace. Looked at critically, therefore, it is envisaged thatemployment equity act supports diversity ranging from the jobposition offers through to religious considerations it should bemaintained in Canada’s job place for the country to continuegrowing economically into the future.
Fourth,the concept has come with the formulation of break and religiousleave policies, and these sound good as far as the relationshipbetween family/culture and work is in Canada. Regarding breakpolicies, some religions require that the followers observe specifictimes of prayer, which may conflict with the working hours asscheduled by the employer. However, the act places the administratorto accommodate the needs of the employee which are, in actuality,unavoidable. Such responses as the provision of flexible hours,modified break policies, and the provision of private devotion areasare grave to an organization that wishes to have its staffs satisfiedand committed to work (Verbeek, 2011). Simply put, employment equityhas ensured that the workforce is able to meet their personal needslike family and religious matters alongside their duties, and thathas in turn facilitated rapid response through high productivity inmost the businesses in Canada. In fact, flexible rescheduling takesplace in most of the workplaces so that the employees feel a sense offairness within their workplaces. For example, a Seventh DayAdventist is excluded from Saturday commitments, and a father withsay, an ailing wife, is permitted to go and attend to the problemfirst. Without such practices, it is obvious that there will beserious conflicts and an atmosphere of unrest that would onlyculminate in a poor performance and, to the worst, the collapse ofthe business. Although some workers may take advantage of theflexible schedule policy to attend to their personal duties, this isa small group, and should not be the reason for abolishing theemployment equity act.
Despitethe above advantages, critics may be using the following notions toargue against the introduction of the practice. First, some insistthat the staff recruited while observing the policies of employmentequity are incompetent. They posit that it is challenging to employblack individuals for critical positions, but with the policy, moreincompetent personalities will acquire the management positions. Thelong-term outcome of such moves will be reduced businessproductivity, and consequently closure. Furthermore, the skepticsinsist that the cause of job mismatch in Canada is its leniency withthe concept. In the end, the hiring process is executed based on howmany females versus males, whites versus people of color, disabledversus physically fit, and majority versus minority should beconsidered for the posts (Verbeek, 2011). Notwithstanding, people endup with positions that they are list qualified to handle, and thatwill affect the growth of most organizations negatively.
Theabove considerations proved that the concept of employment equity isfair and necessary for the Canadian workplace. That is because itresults in a setting of job satisfaction and organization commitment,and that in turn facilitates high performance by the staff.Consequently, an organization is able to realize its set goals andobjectives, hence, a terminating phase of growth and expansion.Although the critics of the system hold strong views related toconflicting interests between the employers and the workers regardingmotivation/rewards, recruitment of incompetent workforce, the misuseof the flexible schedule policy, and job mismatch, these can besolved through adequate training and development, and the formulationof rules for employees’ conduct. Therefore, the enactment andadoption of the employment equity act was an outstanding decision bythe then commission led by Judge Rosalie.
Creese,G., & Wiebe, B. (2012). ‘Survival employment’: Gender anddeskilling among African immigrants in Canada. InternationalMigration, 50(5),56-76.
Klarsfeld,A., Booysen, L. A., Ng, E., Roper, I., & Tatli, A. (Eds.).(2014). 9.78E+ 12: Country Perspectives on Diversity and Equal Treatment.Northampton, U.S.A: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Stallings,B., & Peres, W. (2010). Growth,employment, and equity: The impact of the economic reforms in LatinAmerica and the Caribbean.Washington, U.S: Brookings Institution Press.
Verbeek,S. (2011). Employment equity policy frames in the literature:‘goodpractice’versus ‘bad idea’. TheInternational Journal of Human Resource Management, 22(9),1942-1962.