Free Employer Toolkit

The toolkit offers a variety of informative tools. Learn about the skills people with disabilities bring to the workplace and use our ‘how-to’ resources, that provide practical tips and strategies on successful recruitment, hiring, inclusion and retention of people with disabilities.

COVID-19 Tools

COVID-19 has significantly impacted Canadian businesses, forcing many employers to adapt. The value of diversity and inclusion has never been as important as it is today. Employers seeking to recover from the pandemic will be looking to their teams for resilience and adaptability. Once the world shifts back to normal, businesses that foster an inclusive workplace and hire with diversity in mind stand to benefit the most!

Visit our new COVID-19 tools for further information on how hiring people with disabilities will translate into overall business success after the pandemic.

COVID-19 Tools

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Inclusive Job Description

Benefits of Inclusive Job Descriptions

Writing an inclusive job description is not mandatory when it comes to hiring people with disabilities. However, inclusive job descriptions are beneficial for any hiring, and when used as a regular HR practice, they can increase business efficiency by allowing managers to accurately assess an employee’s work performance.

Determining essential/non-essential and critical/non-critical functions also creates opportunities to increase employees' performance and job satisfaction. Inclusive job descriptions help to select the right person for each job. They can also increase your recruitment reach.

EMPLOYER’S LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY: It is important to define all essential job functions and to prepare job descriptions before advertising any vacancies or interviewing any applicants. Employment should be defined by a person’s ability to perform the essential and critical job functions. In other words, employers may not disqualify a person from employment if he or she is unable to perform non-essential job functions.

STEPS FOR WRITING an inclusive job description

To write an inclusive job description, refer to the following questions and to the accompanying sample Receptionist job description.

1. What is the formal job title?

2. What is the supervisor's job title?

3. What is the purpose of the job?
This should usually take no more than 3 or 4 sentences. It is meant to indicate the main objectives, outcomes, intended results and/or outputs.

4. What are the duties and responsibilities?
List 3 to 8 job duties and/or responsibilities. For each one, list examples or related tasks and indicate if they are critical or non-critical. Critical tasks may be routine or occasional.

Providing these details ensures flexibility and encourages employees to think in terms of job enhancement instead of viewing certain tasks from the perspective of “That is not my job”. Tasks may also be listed as routine or occasional.
  • Begin each statement with an action verb (present tense).
  • Use gender-neutral and non-discriminatory language.
  • Use clear, simple and precise language. Use qualifiers only when necessary.
  • Be as specific as possible. Write details regarding where, when, why and how.


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5. What are the job requirements and qualifications?

The requirements and qualifications should match the duties and responsibilities. This generally includes minimum education levels and certifications. This section does not focus on prior experience.

6. What are the working conditions?
Describe the physical work environment and the hours of work. This section usually includes special conditions such as: weekend work, shift work, working outdoors, working with challenging clients, or working in noisy environments.

7. What are the physical requirements?
Describe the critical range of motion needed by the person doing that job, along with the frequency and any strength requirements if lifting objects is necessary. Also describe any special equipment that must be operated in the workplace.

Employers may not indicate non-essential physical requirements.

In a Receptionist job description, employers may not state the requirement to “lift and carry up to 20 lbs. or 10 kg”. Statements such as these are arguably discriminatory since they are not focused on a specific result or essential aspect of the job.

8. Disclaimers 
Employers should consider adding disclaimers to remind employees and applicants that the job description is subject to change.

This document is provided for information purposes only. The content provided is not legal advice and should not be used or relied upon as such. Applicable law may differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction; if you are seeking legal advice, you are advised to consult a lawyer in your province or territory.

BFOR's → What are bona fide occupational requirements?

Bona fide occupational requirements are considered essential to the job. An employer must differentiate between the essential and absolute job requirements and the optional or flexible job tasks.

For example, in most situations refusing employment on the grounds of religious belief would be considered discriminatory, but a religious school may lawfully require that its teachers be members of that denomination and may lawfully bar from employment anyone who is not a member.

In other situations, posting job requirements that are not essential prevent otherwise qualified candidates from applying to a job that they would be capable of doing. For example, if having a "valid driver's licence" isn't absolutely necessary for the job, it is not a bona fide occupational requirement and should not be posted.

NOTE: bona fide means " authentic, genuine, real, valid, without intention to deceive.


HIRE for TALENT has made every effort to use the most respectful words possible while writing these materials. We realize, however, that the most appropriate terminology may change over time. We developed these materials with the intent to respect the dignity and inherent rights of all individuals.

Take the Challenge!

True or false

An employer must consider for employment all applicants who can perform the essential job functions, whether or not they have a disability.

True. An employer may not disqualify a person from employment if he or she cannot perform certain non-essential job functions.

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Facts & Stats

Growing your business requires the ability to attract talent in a shrinking market. Workplaces with a diverse, healthy, inclusive culture are becoming employers of choice.
Hire for Talent is focused on workers with disabilities because this talent pool, and the support services attached, have profound impact on workplace inclusion.
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Canada’s projected worker to retiree ratio will be 2:1 within 15 years. Recruitment from diverse talent pools will be essential!
The inclusion of people with disabilities generates measurable improvements in performance, innovation and company image.