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Federal legislation that aims to ensure equal opportunities for employees from under-represented groups is heading for its most significant overhaul since its introduction 35 years ago. The Liberal government announced today that it has convened a new task force to review the Employment Equity Act, which the government describes as “an important tool to promote fairness, equality and diversity in federally regulated workplaces.” The legislation states that no person should be denied employment opportunities for reasons unrelated to ability. It says that creating those conditions “requires special measures and the accommodation of differences.” Labour Minister Filomena Tassi said the legislation has improved the standing of various groups that have been marginalized in the workplace, but that the act was overdue for an update. “It’s about bringing the act into the 21st century,” Tassi said. Future changes to the legislation, she added, “are absolutely going to result in more equitable workplaces.” The 13-member task force conducting the review is being asked to come up with recommendations to “modernize” the legislation.

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