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Human Rights and Accommodation( Accomodations) – What is it?

Accomodation vs Accommodation – What’s the difference

The word Accomodation is spelled differently in Australia, UK vs Canada and the United States. In US and Canada, they use accommodation, while in UK, mostly used as Accomodation. For simplicity, in this guide, I will use standardize with accommodation. In this guide you will learn:

  • What is accomodation?
  • What is undue hardship?
  • Examples of Accomoodation principles
  • Different forms of accommodation?

What is accomodation?

Accomodation are steps taken to ensure that everyone, regardless of physical ability, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc. is able to participate fully in events, activities and employment. Accommodations are changes that remove barriers and provide people with disability with equal access to perform their jobs or carry on with their lives.

Who should be accomodated?

All existing employees including part-time, limited-term and indeterminate employees as well as people applying for positions.

What is Undue Hardship?

When an accommodation would cause such a burden that it would amount to an undue hardship to provide, then an employer is not obligated to provide that particular accommodation. The limit beyond which employers and service providers are not expected to accommodate. It usually occurs when an employer or service provider cannot sustain the economic efficiency of the accommodation. Determining undue hardship largely depends on fact-specific details that must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Examples of Accomodation Principles

  • Accomodation should be provided and designed for each individual
  • Dignity
  • Good faith negotiation for both provider and receiver
  • Supportive of full integration
  • Bona fide job requirements
  • High bar for undue hardship
  • Shared responsibility between employee and employer
  • Union may participate if appropriate

Different forms of accommodation?

There are many different types or forms of accomodations, here are some examples.

  • Allowing a flexible work schedule
  • Modifying job duties; job bundling/unbundling
  • Modifying policies
  • Making changes to the building (ramps, automatic door openers, wider doorways)
  • Modifying workstations (making ergonomic changes, supplying a specialized chair)
  • Providing specialized adaptation or assistive devices for computers, accessible technology
  • Providing alternative ways of communicating

What are the examples of Accomodations?

  • Allowing a flexible work schedule
  • Modifying job duties; job bundling/unbundling
  • Modifying policies
  • Making changes to the building (ramps, automatic door openers, wider doorways)
  • Modifying workstations (making ergonomic changes, supplying a specialized chair)
  • Providing specialized adaptation or assistive devices for computers, accessible technology
  • Providing alternative ways of communicating

What is the duty to accommodate?

Refers to the obligation of the employer, services provider or union to take steps to eliminate disadvantage to employees, prospective employees or clients …

Who can requested to be accommodated?

Third parties, including family members, work colleagues, advocates and unions, and that the employer may have a responsibility to initiate discussion on possible accommodation where an employee is unable to state that need.

  1. What is meant by accommodation?

    It is changing the rule or practice to incorporate alternate arrangements that eliminate the discriminatory barriers.
  2. What grounds of discrimination does the duty to accommodate apply to?

    It is most often applied to situations involving persons with physical or mental disability but it also applies to all other grounds covered by the Canadian Human Rights Act.
  3. What is the goal of the Employment Equity Act?

    To eliminate systemic discrimination against designated group members and accommodate their different needs, in order to achieve a representative workplace.
  4. Under the Employment Equity Act, employers are required to implement an employment equity program to remove barriers for which groups?

    Women, members of visible minorities, Aboriginal person, and people with disabilities.
  5. What does BFOR (bona fide occupational requirement) mean?

    A standard or rule that is integral to carrying out the functions of a specific position and it has been established any accommodations or changes to the rule would undue hardship.
  6. What is undue hardship?

    The limit beyond which employers and service providers are not expected to accommodate. It usually occurs when an employer or service provider cannot sustain the economic efficiency of the accommodation.
  7. Who must be accommodated?

    All existing employees including part-time, limited term and indeterminate employees as well as people applying for positions.

  8. Workstation access and adjustments, hiring practices, work procedure adjustments, provision for special facilities aids or equipment or reassignment of an individual employee.
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About the author

Susanne Ricee

Susanne Ricee is the Diversity and Inclusion Specialist and Researcher at Diversity for Social Impact. Sue brings over 15 years of HR and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion consultation experience.
Sue's previous experience includes Microsoft, Target, and Kraft. Sue is also the manager of Diversity Leadership Directory