The Canadian Human Rights Commission's Interim Policy on Stakeholder Compensation

Publication Type
Corporate Publications
Subject Matter
Human Rights

Stakeholder engagement embodies the human rights principles of participation and inclusion, and is fundamental to the Canadian Human Rights Commission’s role as Canada’s national human rights institution. Compensating stakeholders for the sharing of their expertise and experience helps ensure the success of engagement sessions. The Commission has developed this Interim Policy to ensure that eligible stakeholders and rights holders are compensated in a fair and consistent way.

On this page

Part A: Overview

Introduction

Stakeholder engagement embodies the human rights principles of participation and inclusion, and is fundamental to the Canadian Human Rights Commission's role as Canada's national human rights institution.

The Commission has a history of engaging with stakeholders and rights holders as a matter of good governance. Engagement allows the Commission to build relationships with stakeholders and rights holders, provides opportunities to learn from their expertise and experience, and allows the Commission to understand wide ranging interests and divergent views, and integrate these into policy and program development and delivery. More generally, it ensures that the Commission implements its mandates in a way that is transparent and responsive.

Compensating stakeholders for the sharing of their expertise and experience helps ensure the success of engagement sessions, and is the right thing to do. Meaningful compensation can increase a stakeholder's or rights holder's motivation to meaningfully participate and, importantly, help address financial barriers to participation; for example, if participation means giving up income or benefits from employment, some people may not be able to participate.

The Commission wishes to acknowledge the benefits it receives from the participation of stakeholders and rights holders in engagement activities. The Commission has therefore developed this Interim Policy on Stakeholder Compensation to ensure that eligible stakeholders and rights holders are compensated in a fair and consistent way.

Purpose

The purpose of the Interim Policy is to provide a framework to operationalize financial authorities as they pertain to ex gratia payments, with a view to compensating stakeholders for their participation in Commission engagement activities.

As the Interim Policy is the first of its kind for the Canadian Human Rights Commission, comments are welcome and may be emailed to Info.Com@chrc-ccdp.gc.ca.

Goals

The goals of the Interim Policy are to:

  • motivate stakeholders and rights holders to actively participate in the Commission's engagement activities;
  • help address financial barriers to participation;
  • ensure consistent decisions regarding stakeholder compensation; and
  • support sound stewardship of the Commission's financial resources.

Guiding principles

Application of the Interim Policy is guided by the following principles:

  • Relativity: Compensation reflects the value to the Commission derived from the participation of eligible stakeholders and rights holders in an engagement activity, relative to work of a similar nature performed by federal public servants;
  • Stewardship: The Commission uses and cares for public resources responsibly, for both the short- and long-term.

Application

The Interim Policy is to be applied and interpreted in a manner consistent with:

Questions concerning the application of the Interim Policy must be brought to the attention of the responsible program manager who may, in turn, seek advice from the Commission's Stakeholder Relations and Coordination Division, including whether a request for compensation would be eligible under the Interim Policy.

Limitations on scope

The Interim Policy does not address the following:

  • consultations on regulatory proposals, as these are addressed through existing directives; nor
  • reimbursement for accommodation (for example, for disability related-assistance) or travel expenses incurred as a result of participating in engagement activities, as the reimbursement of these costs are provided through existing Treasury Board directives.

Part B: Guidance

Criteria for determining whether a participant receives compensation

The following criteria is considered when determining whether to provide compensation to a person or organization for their participation in an engagement activity:

  • the capacity in which the person is participating in the engagement; and
  • the nature of the engagement, including any required preparation.

Capacity in which a person participates in the engagement

Usual participants in the Commission's engagement activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Academics;
  • Federally regulated entities;
  • General public (targeted/touched by a Commission program);
  • Government of Canada agencies, boards, commissions and departments;
  • International-Multilateral organizations;
  • Labour organizations;
  • Members of groups protected under legislation administered by the Commission, including: women, Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, racialized people, people experiencing homelessness and inadequate housing and 2SLGBTQI+ people;
  • Non-governmental organizations;
  • Not-for-profit organizations;
  • Provinces and Territories;
  • Regulatory and professional associations;
  • Researchers and research organizations; and
  • Unions and bargaining agents.
Eligible for compensation
  • People who do not represent an organization, and are attending in their own capacity. These participants should be compensated for their participation because they are not otherwise receiving remuneration.
  • Representatives of not-for-profit organizations if they are not in receipt of remuneration from the organization. These organizations should be compensated for their participation regardless of their size (that is, large/national or small/local). Not-for-profit organizations typically rely on government funding and/or donations for their operations, and participation in engagement is not usually part of those operations. Additionally, not-for-profit organizations often receive numerous requests for participation and engagement, and, without compensation, can experience financial hardship.

Of note, a person who replaces a participant who was previously determined to be eligible for compensation must be assessed for eligibility.

Ineligible for compensation
  • Regulated entities (that is, entities subject to the Canadian Human Rights Act, the Employment Equity Act, the Pay Equity Act and/or the Accessible Canada Act) and related organizations (for example, professional and industry organizations);
  • Academics and researchers, and related organizations, except where these are not-for-profit;
  • Employees of the federal government, Crown corporations or agencies of Her Majesty, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Forces, or employees of provincial, territorial or municipal governments, unless they are participating in a personal capacity while on leave without pay from their employer;
  • Bargaining agents and labour unions; and
  • For-profit organizations.

Nature of the engagement

The Commission typically undertakes stakeholder engagement to:

  • Inform program and/or policy development;
  • Contribute to key Commission priorities or commitments;
  • Fulfill statutory and regulatory initiatives or requirements; and
  • Foster information exchange, knowledge sharing or relationship building.

The Commission conducts the following types of engagement activities:

  • Informing: From the perspective of the organizer of the engagement, informing entails the one-way provision of balanced and objective information to help stakeholders and rights holders understand policies and programs, services, and statutory and regulatory initiatives.
    While engagements that serve as a forum for informing stakeholders and rights holders are not meant to serve as a forum for dialogue, stakeholders and rights holders are nevertheless welcome to pose questions and share their views in response to the information provided.
    Examples of engagement activities used to inform stakeholders and rights holders include - but are not limited to - a meeting at which information is shared with participants, or the dissemination of fact sheets or other information in response to stakeholder and rights holder requests for such information.
  • Listening: From the perspective of the organizer of the engagement, listening entails the one-way receipt and consideration of feedback on policy and program development, service delivery, and statutory and regulatory initiatives.
    Examples of engagement activities used to listen to stakeholders and rights holders include - but are not limited to - requests for comment, including through fact-based questionnaires (that do not constitute Public Opinion Research), or user testing.
  • Dialoguing: From the perspective of the organizer of the engagement, dialogue entails engaging in multi-party discussions (i.e., discussions with multiple stakeholders) to clarify and deepen a shared understanding of issues, and to deliberate, debate, and influence policies and programs, services, and statutory and regulatory initiatives. Engaging in dialogue offers participants the opportunity to pose questions, and clarify their understanding of issues.
    Examples include - but are not limited to - roundtables with numerous participants, working group meetings, or sessions at which the expertise and suggestions of participants is sought.
Eligible for compensation
  • Participation in activities involving listening and dialoguing, because these activities result in tangible benefits to the Commission (for example, input for the development of policies or programs);
  • Time that participants spend preparing for the aforementioned types of engagement activities (for example, to review documents provided by the Commission), when explicitly required by the Commission. The maximum amount of time for preparation must be stipulated, beyond which the time is not eligible for compensation; and
  • Time that participants spend providing feedback requested by the Commission after the interactive portion of the engagement activity. The maximum amount of time for providing feedback must be stipulated, beyond which the time is not eligible for compensation.

The maximum time limits for advance preparation and providing feedback would not apply where more time is required for accommodation reasons; for example, by a person with a disability. Where a need for accommodation is anticipated by a participant, they are responsible for communicating this clearly to the Commission as early as possible in the process. The Commission is, in turn, responsible for taking necessary steps to accommodate the needs of the participant, including, for example, by offering more time to prepare for an engagement.

Ineligible for compensation
  • Time that participants spend in bilateral or small group meetings that are not aimed at seeking input for such things as program or policy development (for example, meetings to establish or maintain relationships);
  • Time that people spend preparing for an engagement activity in which they do not participate, because the Commission does not derive any benefit from the advance preparation; and
  • Time that participants spend travelling to and from engagement activities, because the Commission does not derive any benefit from this travel time. This is consistent with the application of the Travel Directive for public servants.

Where the amount of travel time is lengthy, the Commission should make efforts to identify and, where a participant requires assistance, make travel arrangements to minimize the travel time. For example, where a person would usually rely on para transit services, the Commission can approve travel using a faster service, such as an accessible taxi.

Expenses

Expenses that are directly related to a person's participation in an engagement activity - for example, costs of mailing or faxing feedback to the Commission – are eligible for reimbursement.

Expenses that are not directly related to a person's participation in an engagement activity - such as caregiving costs for children or other family members, pet care costs, and other such costs – are not eligible for reimbursement.

Documenting eligibility

The eligibility of each participant must be documented using the form prescribed for this purpose.

Calculating the amount of compensation

Compensation is paid to individuals who are determined to be eligible for their participation in engagement activities that are also determined to be eligible.

The amount of compensation is calculated based on the nature and duration of the participant's engagement, and is aligned with a pay scale for federal public servants.

The occupational group and pay scale used to calculate compensation reflects the nature of the engagement activity and therefore the work involved, relative to work of a similar nature performed by federal public servants. Given that the purpose of the Commission's engagement activities typically relates to policy or program development and implementation, the occupational group selected as the baseline is the Economics and Social Science Services Group. As the rate of pay accorded to federal public servants belonging to this occupational group is regularly re negotiated with the employer, it is worth noting that amounts paid to participants prior to a revision of the rate of pay will not be retroactively adjusted upon the revision of these rates.

See Annex A for compensation rates and how to calculate compensation.

If a person is invited to an engagement activity because of their particular expertise (for example, they are a recognized expert in a relevant field) and is given a distinct role to share their expertise with other participants, the person will typically be compensated at a higher rate than other participants to the same engagement activity, and their compensation would be arranged through the contracting and procurement process outside the context of the Interim Policy.

Mechanism for payment

The Commission is not authorized to issue grants or offer compensation to anyone other than employees and contractors.

The Commission will provide a letter of agreement outlining the terms and conditions of the person's/organization's participation in the engagement activity, as well as the terms and conditions of compensation. This may take the form of a Contract Request Form.

The participant will be required to sign the agreement and provide direct deposit information to the Commission. This information will be held in the strictest of confidence noting its sensitive nature. Should the participant be unable to accept payment by direct deposit, it is possible to compensate them by way of a cheque.

Of note, compensation for participation by a representative of an eligible organization will be paid to the organization, and not directly to the representative.

Where the Commission enters into a contractual agreement with a firm that provides event coordination, facilitation and related services, the Commission may include a clause in the Statement of Work that requires the contractor to compensate individuals for their participation in an engagement activity in accordance with the Interim Policy, and to reimburse their travel and accommodation expenses in accordance with applicable Directives issued by the Treasury Board of Canada, such as those outlined in the Application section of the Interim Policy. In such cases, if the participant does not have direct deposit or prefers to receive their compensation through another method of payment such as by cheque or by another means, including gift card, debit card or prepaid credit card, the Commission may articulate this requirement to ensure the participant is paid via their preferred method of payment.

Annex A: Methodology and calculation procedure

Classification

As noted in the Interim Policy on Stakeholder Compensation, the occupational group and pay scale used to calculate compensation reflects the nature of the engagement activity and therefore the work involved, relative to work of a similar nature performed by federal public servants.

Given that the purpose of the Commission's engagement activities typically relates to policy or program development and implementation, the occupational group selected as the baseline is the Economics and Social Science Services Group. For the purpose of the Interim Policy, these rates have been rounded to the nearest dollar.

As the rate of pay accorded to federal public servants belonging to this occupational group is regularly re negotiated with the employer, it is worth noting that amounts paid to participants prior to a revision of the rate of pay will not be retroactively adjusted upon the revision of these rates.

Level

The level used to calculate compensation paid to eligible stakeholders for participation in eligible engagement activities reflects the nature of the engagement activity as defined in the Interim Policy:

  • EC-05 – Listening: From the perspective of the organizer of the engagement, listening entails the one-way receipt and consideration of feedback on policy and program development, service delivery, and statutory and regulatory initiatives.
  • EC-06 – Dialoguing: From the perspective of the organizer of the engagement, dialogue entails engaging in multi-party discussions (i.e., discussions with multiple stakeholders) to clarify and deepen a shared understanding of issues, and to deliberate, debate, and influence policies and programs, services, and statutory and regulatory initiatives. Engaging in dialogue offers participants the opportunity to pose questions, and clarify their understanding of issues.

Calculating compensation

Step 1

Determine the Classification Level based on the nature of the engagement activity.

Step 2

  1. Multiply the hourly rate of the Classification Level (shown in the table Rates)
    by
  2. The duration of participation as expressed in terms of each full hour of pre approved time for preparation and/or providing feedback and/or the duration of the engagement activity. Where the duration is less than one full hour but more than 15 minutes, the duration should be considered one full hour for purposes of the calculation.

Rates

Listening = $55.00

Dialoguing = $60.00

These rates have been established on the basis of the annual rates of pay set out in the Agreement Between the Treasury Board and the Canadian Association of Professional Employees Group: Economics and Social Science Services [PDF format 714KB], and have been rounded to simplify the administration of the Interim Policy. The rates will be adjusted in accordance with revised rates of annual pay set out in the Agreement. No term or condition of employment contained in the Agreement applies in respect of the Interim Policy, nor of stakeholder engagement activities undertaken by the Commission.

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