Employee accommodations (policy 57)

This is a new policy, initiated in 2019, that will outline the provisions and processes for employee workplace accommodations. 

An accommodation is a change or adjustment to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done so that someone with a disability can apply for a job, perform job functions, or enjoy equal access to benefits available to other individuals in the workplace.

Why this policy is important

It is a requirement under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and human rights and labour legislation to have clear employee accommodations procedures. The University has so far had accommodations guidelines, but a policy will be more enforceable, and, importantly, requires employee input and approval.

Policy 57 timeline

  • In winter 2017, Faculty Relations Committee struck an ad hoc committee to assess the state of employee accommodations. In spring 2017, that committee recommended creating a policy, and a policy drafting committee was struck in late 2018
  • In April 2020, revised accommodation guidelines for employees (which violated parts of our Memorandum of Agreement) appeared on the HR website without notice or FAUW consultation.
  • In June 2021, the PDC submitted an initial draft to the Faculty Relations and Staff Relations committees. FAUW was pleased with the commitment to getting accommodations handled and financed centrally, and expressed comfort with suitability of the draft for public consultation.
  • In November 2021, we heard that the PDC was considering feedback from the administration.
  • In January 2023, the PDC sent an updated draft sent to FRC and SRC, which is being reviewed and discussed by the Board this term.

FAUW representatives

Jay Dolmage (former Equity Committee chair)

Lori Curtis (former Academic Freedom & Tenure Committee chair)

What FAUW is looking for in an accommodations policy

  • A fair, equitable process that supports full employment while recognizing and meeting employee needs and that provides options other than sick leave or LTD.

  • Clear pathways, roles, and responsibilities, and a central office, outside of HR, to handle accommodations in an unbiased manner.
  • Use-neutral (either centralized or cost recovery), transparent funding for accommodations, to prevent valid accommodations from being rejected based on availability of funding within a unit.