Policy Statement

The City of Toronto is committed to a policy of fairness and full equity in employment and services in recognition of its obligations and responsibilities as an employer and of its leadership role in the community.

The citizens of Toronto are best served by a public service which reflects the diversity of the community which it serves. This will be achieved through employment equity programs that remove barriers and monitor outcomes rather than by establishing requirements to precisely reflect the percentage of designated groups in the community.

The City of Toronto will:

  1. hire and promote on the basis of merit and potential;
  2. compensate fairly according to the value of the work performed;
  3. set objectives for equitable representation;
  4. develop a proactive equity plan which will include special programs to support the objectives;
  5. and mechanisms for measuring and monitoring outcomes and results;
  6. publicly report results through an Annual Report; and
  7. create a climate of understanding and mutual respect for the dignity of each individual.

Full equality will be achieved through the combined efforts of the City of Toronto, its employees, employee associations, its unions, and the community. Specifically, the City of Toronto will:

  1. provide equality of opportunity to all individuals, and identify and remove artificial and systemic barriers to full employment with respect to an employees’ or potential employees’ race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, record of offences, marital status, family status, disability and level of literacy;
  2. commit to principles of potential and merit as key criteria for hiring and promotion; will make the best use of the talents of all available workers regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, disability, racial status or Aboriginal status;
  3. ensure equitable compensation practices consistent with pay equity requirements;
  4. work with its employees, its unions, its employee associations and community organisations, representing women, racial minority people, people with disabilities, Aboriginal people and other groups, in the development of strategies and special initiatives to promote equity in the workplace;
  5. implement special programs and accommodation as required to assist specific groups of workers to overcome discrimination, and the barriers of systemic discrimination;
  6. promote the development of proactive strategies by establishing qualitative and quantitative objectives specific to equity principles. Progress on the achievement of results will be measured and reported to Council and the public;
  7. undertake to educate and inform its employees on equity principles;
  8. undertake public education programs regarding the City’s commitment to equity principles; and
  9. support Council Committees committed to addressing equity issues.


This policy covers all employees and prospective employees of the City of Toronto. This policy takes into account issues regarding protection of privacy and freedom of information.

Program Components

The City of Toronto’s Employment Equity Program will consist primarily of the following components:

  1. communication about equity principles, practices and programs;
  2. policy review and development on equity issues (work and family life initiatives which highlight corporate policies and divisional practices);
  3. consultation, input and support to the collective bargaining process;
  4. advice and support to divisions on the development and implementation of special programs (training programs for women interested in pursuing a career in non-traditional work, contracts/purchasing); initiatives (support groups); equity reports (divisional equity plans); reviews (employment systems reviews); barrier removal (accommodation measures); supportive measures (retention, retraining, deployment); and positive measures (outreach);
  5. for the purpose of identifying barriers and improving process, monitor, provide input and make recommendations on the recruitment, selection, promotional and appointment processes and outcomes when required;
  6. support and advice to established equity committees and task forces on equity-related issues and subjects;
  7. input on staff development and training programs; and
  8. exchange of information via networks at other municipal, provincial and federal levels and with community agencies.

Information Requirements

To support the implementation of the employment equity policy and specific program components, the City will engage in the following activities:

  1. conduct voluntary employment equity surveys (applicants and workforce); and
  2. re-establish and maintain confidential employment equity databases in which:

Equity-related information regarding designated group status is maintained in a confidential database.

Use is restricted solely to staff who are authorised to engage in activities specifically related to the City’s achievement of equity in employment and services. Applicant data are kept separate from employee data.

Employee and applicant data on designated group status are used for monitoring participation rates, measuring and identifying outcomes, identifying outreach priorities and for responding to Ontario Human Rights Commission complaints.

Data are compiled through a voluntary survey conducted with employees and verified periodically for accuracy and changes, particularly with respect to disability status.

Approved by

City Council

Date Approved

July 4, 2000