Federal government falls down on employment equity

Only 5 departments get 'acceptable' rating, all others need improvement

The federal government isn't doing very well in employment equity, according to a new report.

Not a single government department or agency received a "notable" rating on employment equity and only five departments received an "acceptable" rating, in the report by the Public Service Human Resource Management Agency of Canada (PSHRMAC).

The report gave the Public Service Commission, the Canadian International Development Agency, the Correctional Service of Canada, Health Canada, and Canadian Heritage acceptable ratings.

However, four departments — Fisheries and Oceans, the Canada School of the Public Service, Indian and Northern Affairs and the Courts Administration Service — were assessed at the worst rating of "requiring attention."

The report found that all other departments needed improvement.

The report reviewed the government's performance in 2004-2005, rating each government department and agency as either "notable," "acceptable," "opportunity for improvement," or "attention required."

The federal government lags the private sector in eliminating barriers for visible minorities and in 2000 it adopted a plan, called Embracing Change, to deal with visible minority recruitment in the public service.

However, the report found that the program's benchmarks have not been met.

"Visible minorities now comprise 8.1 per cent of the core public administration (up from 5.5 per cent in 1999-2000) compared with a workforce availability of 10.5 per cent. By 2016, visible minorities are expected to make up one-fifth of Canada's population," the report says.

"External recruitment of visible minorities has peaked at one in 10, which is only half way to the one-in-five benchmark established in the (Embracing Change) Action Plan."

The report says that PSHRMAC is working on a government-wide "policy on diversity" to ensure a more representative public service.

To read the full story, login below.

Not a subscriber?

Start your subscription today!