TORONTO, July 15, 2013 /CNW/ - The Ontario Human Rights Commission's
(OHRC) new Policy on removing the "Canadian experience" barrier was launched today by Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall in partnership
"Ontario attracts highly-skilled immigrants from all over the world,"
commented Hall, "but if they have to meet a requirement for Canadian
experience, they are in a very difficult position - they can't get a
job without Canadian experience and they can't get experience without a
job. In most cases, that is discrimination under Ontario's Human Rights Code."
The OHRC found that many newcomers turn to unpaid work such as
volunteering, internships or low-skilled "survival jobs" to meet the
requirement for Canadian experience. They also face obstacles when
trying to get professional accreditation since some regulatory bodies
will not admit new members without prior work experience in Canada. As
a result, they end up in jobs that do not correspond to their
education, skills and experience.
The new policy sets out the OHRC's position that a strict requirement
for "Canadian experience" is discriminatory, and can only be used in
rare circumstances. Employers and regulatory bodies need to ask about
all of a job applicant's previous work - where they got their
experience does not matter. The policy also tells employers and
regulatory bodies how to develop practices, policies and programs that
do not result in discrimination.
"We welcome this new policy," said Bill Thomas, Chief Executive Officer
and Senior Partner, KPMG. "Businesses that invest in newcomers benefit
from the skills and rich experience they have to offer and in return,
become more competitive in today's global economy."
Last fall, the OHRC consulted newcomers to Canada in the last 10 years
about their experiences looking for jobs in Ontario since their
arrival, and employers or human resources representatives, who use
"Canadian experience" as a job requirement. The OHRC also spoke with a
number of organizations and individuals, including agencies serving
newcomers, employers, government and regulatory bodies.
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SOURCE: Ontario Human Rights Commission
For further information:
Senior Communications Officer
Ontario Human Rights Commission