On behalf of Jay Rodgers
Deputy Minister of Families and
Director of The Accessibility for Manitobans Act
Province of Manitoba
In 2013, the Manitoba Government committed to making Manitoba more accessible for everyone by enacting The Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA). I am writing to share with you that the Province has introduced the second accessibility standard under the AMA, which is initially focused on employee safety and inclusion.
According to Statistics Canada, one in four Manitobans has a disability. Manitobans with disabilities are already an integral part of our workforce. They also represent a skilled segment of unemployed individuals looking for work.
Accessibility levels the playing field, improves productivity, and makes workplaces healthier and safer for everyone – often at little or no cost. The Accessibility Standard for Employment guides employers on how to recruit, hire and retain employees by preventing and removing barriers in the workplace.
Safety comes first. To ensure employee safety, by May 1, 2020, all Manitoba employers with one or more employees, including your organization, must have:
- plans to provide individualized emergency response information to keep employees with disabilities safe; and,
- permission from all employees who require assistance during an emergency to share that information with other individuals in the organization who have agreed to provide support.
I am pleased to share a Workplace Emergency Response Information Toolkit that includes more information and a sample template to get you started.
The other elements the standard will help ensure workplaces have appropriate processes and plans in place to offer reasonable accommodations and be inclusive of employees with disabilities. The requirements will be phased in and will affect businesses and non-profit organizations in three years - May 1, 2022.
- For an overview, please see the Introduction to Manitoba's Accessible Employment Standard.
- Now is a good time to increase awareness about accessible employment. Get the conversation going by posting an Accessibility Works Infographic Poster or the Discussing Accessibility in the Workplace poster on a wall in an employee lounge or on your website.
- If you’re not sure what you will need to do to comply with the accessibility standard for employment, this compliance Business and Non-Profit Organization Checklist will help.
To access these tools and other resources, or to register for a free workshop where you and your member organizations can learn more about the new standard, please visit AccessibilityMB.ca or subscribe to Accessibility News to receive an email update every three months.
Please note, that in response to the recent independent review of the AMA, the threshold for additional requirements placed on businesses will increase from 20 to 50 employees for both the customer service and employment standards.
Accessible employment is critical in fulfilling our vision of a society that is inclusive for everyone.
I encourage you to share this information and the tools with your members. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact the Disabilities Issues Office (DIO) in my department. The DIO can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (204) 945-7613 or toll-free at 1-800-282-8069 (Ext. 7613).
Tracy MacMillan, Office Manager
Disabilities Issues Office (DIO)
Department of Families
630 – 240 Graham Avenue
Winnipeg MB R3C 0J7
Ph: (204) 945-7613 / Fax: (204) 948-2896