CIHR Duty to Accommodate Policy
(Également publié en français sous le titre Politique sur les mesures d’adaptation au travail des IRSC)
- Effective date
- Process for accommodation
- Accommodation records
- Roles and responsibilities
1. Effective Date
1.1 This policy takes effect on November 8, 2021.
1.2 This policy replaces the previous Duty to Accommodate Policy, dated December 2012.
2.1 The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) recognizes the diversity of its workforce and is committed to fostering a workplace where all employees and candidates for employment are treated with respect and dignity. CIHR shall meet its duty to accommodate to ensure employees are able to contribute positively to the organization.
Accommodation means changing the rule or practice to incorporate alternative arrangements that eliminate barriers related to the prohibited grounds of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act. An accommodation is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Include physical, architectural, technological or attitudinal obstacles, policies, practices, systems, or procedures that exclude or hinder the full and equal participation of persons protected from discrimination by the Canadian Human Rights Act, in employment.
Candidates for Employment
Any individual, external or internal to CIHR, who is applying for employment at the CIHR, including those considering submitting an application for a position at CIHR.
Designated Groups (Groupes désignés)
Means groups defined by the Employment Equity Act and includes women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities.
Duty to Accommodate (Obligation d’adaptation)
Refers to the legal obligation of the employer to adjust rules, policies or practices to enable individuals to participate fully with respect to needs that are related to the grounds of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act and needs related to designated groups under the Employment Equity Act. The employer must remove prohibited discriminatory barriers up to the point of undue hardship considering issues of health, safety and cost.
Means employees of CIHR and includes the following whether they work on-site or remotely: indeterminate and term employees, employees on leave with or without pay, students, casual, seasonal, and part-time workers. It does not include Scientific Directors, Institute staff or volunteers.
For the purpose of this policy, managers mean any Employee occupying a CIHR position at grade 12 or above.
Undue Hardship (Contrainte excessive)
Undue hardship means the limit, beyond which CIHR is not expected to accommodate, considering health, safety and cost. It is a legal test and requires proof by the employer.
4.1 This policy is issued pursuant to the human resources authorities outlined in s. 17 of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Act, as delegated by Governing Council to the President on November 19-20, 2019.
5.1 This policy applies to all CIHR employees and candidates for employment.
6.1 This policy sets out requirements and principles guiding CIHR’s legal duty to accommodate employees and candidates for employment.
7.1 The objective of this policy is to ensure CIHR treats employees and candidates for employment with dignity and respect in an inclusive, barrier-free workplace in which all persons have equal access to opportunities.
7.2 Individuals are accommodated up to the point of undue hardship, taking into consideration issues of health, safety and cost.
7.3 Accommodations are made based on the circumstances of each case while the individual’s right to privacy and confidentiality are respected.
8. Process for Accommodation
8.1 The procedure for managers with candidates for employment seeking accommodation is as follows:
8.1.1 All candidates must be informed of their right to accommodation under the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Employment Equity Act. If a candidate for employment identifies an accommodation need, clarify with the candidate the nature of the barrier and the associated implications.
8.1.2 Obtain from the candidate for employment the necessary information about the required accommodation and, if applicable, any relevant professional assessments or recommendations.
8.1.3 Consult the identified Human Resources Branch contact with regard to the accommodation measure(s), if required.
8.1.4 Inform the candidate for employment about the proposed accommodation measure(s).
8.1.5 Provide Human Resources Branch with a record of the accommodation request and CIHR response so that it can be placed on the HR record for the candidate for employment.
8.2 The procedure for managers with employees seeking accommodation is as follows:
8.2.1 If an employee has indicated a work-related need for accommodation, clarify the nature of the barrier and the associated implications with the employee.
8.2.2 Obtain from the employee information, and documentation if required, about any limitations or restrictions and, if applicable, any relevant professional assessments or recommendations.
8.2.3 Request additional information from the employee or obtain the employee’s consent prior to seeking information from a medical practitioner or other relevant third party, in support of a request for accommodation.
8.2.4 Consult the Human Resources Branch regarding potential accommodation measure(s).
8.2.5 Involve other internal service providers, in such areas as finance, administration/facilities, and/or information management/technology as needed.
8.2.6 Inform the employee of the proposed accommodation measure(s), including any training to be provided by CIHR on equipment or systems.
8.2.7 Provide information about an employee’s accommodation only on a need-to-know basis.
8.2.8 Provide a record of the accommodation request and the CIHR response to Human Resources Branch for retention purposes.
8.2.9 Ensure that accommodation measures follow an employee if they move to another position in CIHR, as required.
9. Accommodation records
9.1 Full records associated with employee accommodation under this policy shall be maintained by the Labour Relations team in the Human Resources Branch
9.2 Full records associated with accommodation of candidates for employment shall be maintained by the staffing team of Human Resources Branch.
9.3 Human Resources Branch ensures that records regarding specialized equipment needs are provided to the Finance and Administration Branch and/or to the Digital and Security Services Branch as appropriate.
9.4 Records created as a result of this policy will only be shared with CIHR staff who require the information for the purpose of ensuring the individual accommodations required.
9.5 For reporting purposes, staff in Human Resources Branch may access these records. Human Resources Branch shall only include aggregate data in their accommodation reports.
9.6 CIHR shall comply with the Privacy Act in handling records associated with this policy.
10. Roles and responsibilities
10.1 The President is responsible for the following:
10.1.1 Approving and implementing this policy within the CIHR.
10.1.2 Overseeing this policy to assess whether the requirements of this policy and its related instruments have been met.
10.1.3 Ensuring that employees are provided with work-related information, including on employment opportunities, in accessible formats. Employment opportunities are also provided to candidates for employment in accessible format.
10.1.4 Approving individual accommodations that require an exemption from another human resources policy.
10.2 The Director General, Human Resources is responsible for the following:
10.2.1 Providing advice, guidance and support to managers and employees on the Duty to Accommodate Policy and process.
10.2.2 Ensuring that employees and candidates for employment are informed of:
- Their right to accommodation under the Canadian Human Rights Act; and
- Any mandatory procedures to be followed when seeking an accommodation.
10.2.3 Ensuring that anyone managing employees are informed of their responsibilities and obligations with regard to:
- Addressing individual’s accommodation needs; and
- The relevant confidentiality and privacy considerations.
10.2.4 Restricting access to any information about an individual’s request for accommodation to the people who have a need to know. The type of information required will depend on the specific needs of each individual.
10.2.5 Identifying and eliminating systemic barriers that prevent people from accessing or being included in the workplace, or prevented from accessing or being included in selection processes.
10.2.6 Informing candidates for employment of the type or nature of tests or other evaluation methods that will be used in the selection process to allow candidates to make an inform request for appropriate accommodation.
10.2.7 Recommending for the President’s approval individual accommodations requests where providing such accommodations would require exemptions to another human resources policy
10.3 The Director General, Finance and Administration is responsible for the following:
10.3.1 Consulting employees when there are changes to physical structures, systems or equipment so that the workplace remains barrier-free.
10.3.2 Enabling access to specialized workplace equipment/supplies in relation to an employee accommodation.
10.4 The Director General, Digital and Security Services is responsible for:
10.4.1 Enabling access to specialized information management/information technology equipment and software in relation to an employee accommodation.
10.5 Managers are responsible for the following:
10.5.1 Maintaining the dignity and respect of employees and candidates for employment by addressing their work-related accommodation needs.
10.5.2 Fully complying with the Canadian Human Rights Act.
10.5.3 Consulting the Disability Management Advisor in relation to requests for accommodation.
10.5.4 Identifying and taking action to fulfill their duty to accommodate in their business and human resources plans.
10.5.5 Ensuring that accommodation arrangements are reviewed and updated at least annually.
10.5.6 Retaining a copy of the written record of the accommodation as held by the Disability Management Advisor.
10.5.7 Ensuring that the needs of individuals who may require accommodation are taken into consideration when planning or designing work-related processes and activities.
10.6 Employees are responsible for the following:
10.6.1 Informing their manager of their work-related needs for accommodation.
10.6.2 Providing their manager with the information necessary to identify appropriate accommodation, including information on relevant limitations and restriction. Information to provide in the context of seeking accommodation does not include employee information about a medical condition, medical diagnosis or medication regimen.
10.6.3 Cooperating and collaborating in good faith with their manager and other CIHR representatives to establish appropriate accommodations, including participating in fit to work assessments.
10.6.4 Notifying their manager if their accommodation needs change.
10.6.5 Respecting the accommodation requirements and privacy of others.
10.7 Candidates for employment who are CIHR employees are responsible for the following:
10.7.1 Informing the hiring manager or the staffing advisor of their accommodation needs in relation to the selection process.
10.7.2 Providing the hiring manager or the staffing advisor with the information necessary to identify appropriate accommodation, including information on relevant limitations and restriction.
10.7.3 Cooperating and collaborating in good faith with the hiring manager, staffing advisor and other CIHR representatives to find one or more means to provide the required accommodations.
10.7.4 Notifying the hiring manager or staffing advisor if their accommodation needs change.
11.1 Employees who believe they have not been properly accommodated in a reasonable time may seek to informally resolve their dispute by further discussing with their manager, followed by escalating their concern to the next level of management. A formal recourse mechanism may also be pursued according to the grievance process outlined in Informal Complaint and Formal Grievance Process. A complaint can also be made directly with the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
12.1 Employees should direct enquiries to their manager or to the Labour Relations Mailbox.
12.2 Candidates for employment should direct enquiries to the hiring manager or to the staffing advisor indicated on the job posting.
- Canada Labour Code
- Canadian Constitution Acts, Part I – Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
- Canadian Human Rights Act
- Canadian Institutes of Health Research Act
- Employment Equity Act
- Privacy Act
- Work Place Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations
Related policy instruments
- Directive on Privacy Practices
- Policy on Privacy Protection
- Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector
- Date modified: