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Employment Equity Policy

Ref. No. Executive sponsor Policy steward Approval authority First approved Last reviewed Effective date Next review
41.11 Vice President, Academic and Equity Director, Human Rights & Equity Services Board of Governors June 2017   June 2017 April 2024
  1. Purpose
    1. Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) is committed to principles of diversity and inclusion because it enriches the College and nurtures a culture of excellence. A diverse College community inspires innovation and excellence in teaching, and learning, engagement and performance. NSCC is committed to achieving and sustaining a climate of Employment Equity throughout the College for the purpose of ensuring that employees have a fair and equitable opportunity to participate in and take advantage of all aspects of their employment experience.
    2. NSCC is committed to recognizing and eliminating historical and current inequities experienced by certain groups in relation to employment at the College. This commitment to Employment Equity will assist the College in its mission of building Nova Scotia’s economy and quality of life, while promoting a positive example for the community it serves.
  1. Scope
    1. This Policy applies to all prospective and current employees of the College regardless of employment status.
    2. This policy outlines the College’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion by way of:
      1. Guiding principles that promote and foster employment equity, diversity and a culturally proficient workforce that strives for inclusion.
      2. Overarching goals to guide the College in building a workforce representative of Nova Scotia’s population.
      3. Associated employment equity guidelines that will support the implementation and administration of the College’s goals and this policy.
      4. Identification and removal of systemic barriers to employment and promotion.
      5. The ongoing collection and analysis of employee data continued monitoring and reporting on the College’s progress towards achieving employment equity goals and objectives.
  1. Definitions
Term Definition
Aboriginal/Indigenous Persons are those who identify as First Nations, Inuit or Metis. First Nations includes status, treaty or federally registered Indians, as well as non-status and/ or non-registered Indians. Note: While the term Indian is federally recognized, its use is no longer socially acceptable.
Cultural Proficiency enables organizations and individuals to interact effectively in culturally diverse environments. Culturally proficient organizations promote inclusiveness to support learning about inter-cultural difference in order to respond appropriately and effectively to these differences. (Nuri, K. 2015)
Designated Groups groups as identified by the Employment Equity Act as facing barriers to inclusion and participation in the workforce. The groups are women in under-represented occupations, Aboriginal/Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, members of racially-visible groups and such other groups as may be included in the definition of "designated groups" in the Employment Equity Act, Statutes of Canada 1995, c. 46.
Employment Equity involves a systematic effort to achieve fairness in employment. It is achieved when no person is denied employment opportunities or benefits for reasons unrelated to their abilities. Employment equity, as specified by the federal government, seeks to eliminate barriers to employment for the designated groups.
Equity is a process that calls for the acknowledgement of systemic power and privilege and the (re)distribution of resources to enhance access, experience and outcomes for members of equity-seeking groups. Equity compels the college to create spaces that value, celebrate, amplify and accommodate individual differences through the removal of systemic barriers to employment and education.
Equity-Seeking Groups includes the four Designated Groups in addition to groups whose members experience violence, harassment, discrimination, exclusion, stigmatization, and prejudice based on any other grounds identified in the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act.
Fairness an accessible, consistent and transparent process that is impartial, based upon the principles of merit and equity.
Federal Contractors Program (FCP) a program that requires provincial organizations with 100 or more employees and that receive $200,000 in federal contracts commit to implementing Employment Equity with regard to four designated groups: Aboriginal/Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, members of racially-visible groups and women in under-represented occupations.
Gender Identity a person’s internal sense of being a man, woman, both, neither, or somewhere in between. Gender identity refers to the internal experience of a person that cannot be determined by others. A person’s gender identity is different from their sexual orientation.
Gender Expression how people present their own sense of gender to society. Your gender is what you know yourself to be. Your gender expression is how you present your gender to the world and how your gender is understood by the world such as through clothing/dress, makeup, voice, mannerisms and personal habits.
Inclusion is defined as the process of improving the terms of participation in society, particularly for individuals or groups of individuals who are disadvantaged or under-represented, through enhancing opportunities, access to resources, voice and respect for rights. This creates a sense of belonging, promotes trust, fights exclusion and marginalization and offers the opportunity of upward mobility and results in increased social cohesion in society.¹
Members of Racially-Visible Groups are persons, other than Aboriginal/Indigenous persons, who identify as non-white in colour and non-Caucasian in racial origin, regardless of birthplace or citizenship.
NSCC Community

an NSCC community member under this policy includes, but is not limited to the following:

  1. Employee: any person who is employed by NSCC or provides services to NSCC under an employment contract.
  2. Student: anyone applying to or registered in College programs or otherwise participating in College courses, programs, events and activities.
  3. Volunteer: any person performing work for NSCC in an unpaid capacity.
  4. Contractor: any individual or company (and its employees) who provides services to NSCC under a service contract (i.e. a non-employee-employer relationship).
  5. NSCC Community Member: any person working in collaboration with NSCC for a business or academic purpose or an external community member, including all graduates and alumni of NSCC.
  6. NSCC Board of Governors: the governing body of the College.
Persons with Disabilities

For the purpose of this policy, as defined by the Federal Contractors Program, are any persons who are currently experiencing a disability, including “physical disability or mental disability” as defined in s. 3(l) of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act. A disability may be long-term, short-term, or recurring.² A person with disability(ies) may:

  1. consider themselves to be disadvantaged in employment by reason of that impairment; or
  2. believe that an employer or potential employer is likely to consider them to be disadvantaged in employment by reason of that impairment; and
  3. includes people whose functional limitations due to their impairment have been accommodated in their current job or workplace (i.e. by use of technical aids or other).
Sexual Orientation to whom we are emotionally, relationally and/or physically attracted. A person’s sexual behaviour does not necessarily determine their sexual orientation and vice versa. There are many ways of expressing identities which have resulted in an increase in terms and language around sexual orientation. Several common sexual orientations are lesbian, gay, bisexual, straight/heterosexual, asexual, pansexual, two spirit and queer.
Special Measures are specific initiatives under employment equity to remove the effects of past and ongoing exclusions and/or discrimination. Current examples at NSCC are: designated competitions and preference in filling vacancies where relatively equal merit applies.
Under-Representation is having a notably lower percentage of designated group members in a particular occupational group than would reasonably be expected in comparison to their known availability based upon labour force availability (LFA) data and/or internal benchmarking, review and analysis.

1 Adapted from: Leaving no one behind: the imperative of inclusive development, Report on the World Social Situation 2016 (PDF 2.09MB), United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs2 As defined in the Academic Accommodations and Employee Workplace Accommodations Policies

  1. Policy
    1. The College recognizes the significance of historical injustices and ongoing injustices and their negative impact for certain groups in Nova Scotia, and the resulting inequities that create systemic barriers in both accessing and advancing in education and employment. The College is committed to implementing employment equity measures that enable all present and future employees to have a fair and equitable opportunity for employment and professional development, to contribute to the workplace, and further enrich the talent pool thereby making NSCC a welcoming and inclusive workforce.
    2. In addition, the College recognizes that groups other than those designated by the Employment Equity Act have historically been discriminated against in society in ways that may limit their active participation in the workforce.
    3. This policy is in compliance with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act, Employment Equity Act, the Federal Contractors Program and the Nova Scotia Community College Act.
    4. Guiding Principles
      1. As both a community leader and post-secondary educational institution, NSCC is committed to fulfilling its mission within a learning environment that leads the way in embracing equity, diversity and inclusion.
      2. NSCC believes the province is best supported when the College community reflects the diversity of the province’s population.
      3. NSCC is genuine in its commitment and intentional in its action to identify and remove barriers to employment equity in order to create and maintain an inclusive, respectful working environment for all employees.
      4. NSCC is committed to expanding its talent pool by reaching a wider range of applicants with a diverse range of knowledge, skills and abilities to further enrich the employee and student experience.
    5. Specifically, the College will undertake measures to:
      1. Determine the representation of designated group members within the College’s workforce, specifically identifying areas of under-representation to focus measures to address gaps.
      2. Develop and implement an employment equity plan with specific goals to achieve and maintain representational hiring and advancement of employees for the College.
      3. Take proactive measures to identify and eliminate employment practices, procedures or systems that may be barriers to the recruitment and retention of designated and other equity-seeking groups.
      4. Achieve and maintain a representative workforce for all employees by actively seeking to attract individuals from diverse backgrounds, while positively addressing the historic under-representation of Aboriginal/Indigenous Persons, members of racially-visible groups, persons with disabilities and women in under-represented occupations.
      5. Establish mechanisms to monitor the effectiveness of the College’s plan, including ongoing collection and analysis of employee data, continued monitoring and reporting of the College’s progress towards employment equity goals.
      6. Undertake education designed to increase awareness of the issues, knowledge about the historical, legal and moral aspects of employment equity. Successful implementation requires an informed and empathetic College community that will implement this policy through an equitable and inclusive lens.
      7. Work collaboratively with leaders to develop effective communication strategies regarding employment equity initiatives and reporting progress and results to the College community.
      8. Adopt special measures, where necessary, to ensure the goals of a representative and barrier-free workplace are achieved.
    6. Roles and Responsibilities
      All members of the NSCC community have a role in the success of employment equity. This policy applies to all members of the NSCC Community whenever they are participating in College activities, regardless of the physical or online location. This includes, but is not limited to, working, teaching, learning, attending events, or residing on campus.
      1. President and Executive Team: The President of NSCC has ultimate accountability for the Employment Equity Policy. The President and all members of the Executive Team are responsible for fostering a culture of inclusion and diversity in keeping with NSCC’s values and equitable and inclusive practices. Executive members will ensure this policy is made publicly available, monitor results and present annual Employment Equity progress reports to NSCC’s Board of Governors.
      2. Vice President, Organizational Development: the Employment Equity Policy falls under the jurisdiction of the VP, Organizational Development who is responsible for the overall implementation of this policy including, ongoing management, monitoring, analysis, evaluation and reporting progress and compliance with employment equity goals and objectives. The VP, Organizational Development may occasionally conduct audits of overall College practices and request relevant data maintained by respective departments with respect to this policy.
      3. College Leaders: including all members of the Senior Leadership Forum (SLF) and the College Leadership Forum (CLF), share responsibility and accountability for the implementation and the overall achievement of employment equity results. They are expected to cultivate attitudes and behaviours that advance employment equity within their respective work areas, be accountable for reporting on the progress achieved, and commit to ongoing improvements by their respective departments in advancing the Employment Equity Policy.
      4. Office of Diversity and Inclusion is responsible for managing and monitoring the implementation of the College’s Employment Equity Policy and ensuring compliance with all legal requirements. It is also responsible to work:
        1. In collaboration with College leaders to provide guidance, support and coaching to assist in advancing this policy;
        2. With Human Resources to recommend and develop strategies for launching effective outreach strategies, recruitment, hiring, system reviews, barrier analysis, development of promotional tools and so on as they relate to the advancement of the Employment Equity Policy.
        3. With Organizational Learning to recommend and develop educational strategies that incorporate diversity and inclusion into employee learning and development and promote equitable participation of all employees in professional development programs offered by the College.
      5. Human Resources works with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to integrate the principles of Employment Equity with its other human resources policies, procedures and practices to ensure all present and potential employees receive equitable treatment in matters related to employment. Human Resources also works with College leaders to ensure merit, fairness and equity are maintained in hiring practices.
      6. Employees: the College expects that everyone who works, studies, and visits its campuses are treated with fairness, dignity and respect. To this end, all employees are required to behave in a welcoming and respectful manner in learning and work environments. All current and new employees are expected to attend the mandatory diversity learning workshop.
  1. Policy Supports

Related Policies

44.01 Fair Hiring Policy 
41.01 Respectful Community Policy 
45.13 Employee Workplace Accommodations Policy 
41.21 Educational Equity Policy 

  1. Revision Log
Ref Effective Date: Scope Action: Approved by:
6.1 June 23, 2017 New Policy Approved NSCC Board of Governors
6.2 Oct. 3, 2017 Minor Change An error in the definition of s3.1 Aboriginal / Indigenous Persons was identified and corrected. Rosalind Penfound, Vice President, Organizational Development
6.3 Oct. 2018 Minor Change Definitions updated. Executive Council