Maple Leaf Foods Inc. Multi-Year Accessibility Plan
2021 - 2026
Statement of Commitment
Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is committed to preventing, identifying and removing barriers to accessibility in a timely, integrated, and accessible manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities. We are committed to providing goods, services, and employment opportunities to all people. This Multi-Year Accessibility Plan outlines our progressive approach to meeting the current accessibility requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (“AODA”). We also commit to working towards full compliance with the standards of the Accessibility for Manitobans Act, and any upcoming applicable accessibility legislations as they are introduced.
In accordance with the legal and regulatory requirements set out in the AODA’s Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulations, Maple Leaf Foods will:
- Establish, implement, and maintain policies governing how the organization will achieve accessibility.
- Prepare and develop the Multi-Year Accessibility Plan.
- Make the corporate policy(ies) and Multi-Year Accessibility Plan available to our employees and the public, upon request.
- Provide the polices and Multi-Year Accessibility Plan in an accessible format, upon request.
- Review and update the Multi-Year Accessibility Plan at least once every five years.
Under the AODA, 4 of the 5 accessibility standards are applicable to Maple Leaf Foods. These accessibility standards will help our organization identify and remove barriers to improve accessibility for people with disabilities:
- Customer Service
- Information and Communications
- Design of Public Spaces
Accessibility Standards for Customer Service
Maple Leaf Foods is committed to providing its goods and services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. We have followed the Accessible Customer Service Standard and will continue to comply with the regulation. We strive to deliver an accessible customer service experience by ensuring that people with disabilities can access and equally benefit from the same services and facilities as all other customers.
- Providing accessible telephone services to customers with hearing or speech disabilities and considering various communication channels that are better suited to their needs.
- Permitting the use of assistive devices, in compliance with our Food Safety and Health and Safety teams’ requirements, by people with disabilities so that they can gain, utilize, and benefit from the organization’s goods and services.
- Ensuring that in situations where an individual with a disability is accompanied by a support person or service animal, both are accommodated and provided equal access to our goods and services and are allowed in areas opened to the public and other third parties in accordance with our Food Safety and Health and Safety standards.
- Providing a prompt notification to the public of any temporary service disruption to facilities or services used by persons with disabilities. This notice includes information regarding the reason and duration of disruption and a description of alternative facilities or services, if available.
- Ensuring every person, who within the organization, interacts with the public on behalf of Maple Leaf Foods is provided with training based on the requirements of the accessibility standards and on the Human Rights Code of the AODA.
- Training is given to all employees, including those who participate in the development of the organization’s policies, and all other people who provide goods, services, and facilities on behalf of the company.
- Training includes the purpose and importance of the accessibility standards developed by provincial legislation as well as tips on how to communicate, interact, and support people with disabilities.
- Training is provided as soon practicable within the onboarding process and on a continuous basis in respect to any changes made to the Maple Leaf Foods Accessibility policies, which is reviewed and updated biennially.
- Completion of training is tracked and recorded. These records consist of the dates and number of individuals to whom the training was provided.
Maple Leaf Foods welcomes customer feedback to improve the accessibility of products and services. We are committed to arrange, upon request, for the timely provision of accessible formats and communication supports for persons with disabilities to provide us feedback in a manner that is most convenient to them. This will be done through multiple communication channels such as in person, by telephone, in writing, by email, or any other electronic format. We believe that collecting feedback will help us learn about barriers in the workplace so we can work on making them accessible, if possible.
Accessibility Standards for Employment
Maple Leaf Foods is committed to inclusive and accessible employment practices across all stages of the employment cycle to attract, retain, and accommodate people with disabilities. The organization will take the necessary steps to meet the employment regulations under the AODA relating to recruitment and selection, return to work, individual accommodation, workplace emergency response information, and performance management and talent development.
Recruitment, Selection, and Notice to Successful Applicants
- During the recruitment process, Maple Leaf Foods will continue to notify the public including job applicants who are selected to participate in an assessment, that accommodations are available upon request for those with disabilities.
- When a selected applicant requests an accommodation, Maple Leaf Foods consults with the applicant to provide or arrange suitable accommodation in a manner that considers the applicant’s accessibility needs due to disability.
- When making offers of employment, Maple Leaf Foods will notify the successful applicant about its policies for accommodating employees with disabilities.
- Information about the availability of our policies will be stated in the offer letter and policies will be provided during the onboarding process, if requested.
- Successful applicants will be notified about the policies posted on the corporate website and that they can be made available upon request, in an accessible format, at any time throughout their employment.
- Employees will be provided with updated information whenever there is a change to existing policies.
- Employees will be advised that their dignity and privacy will be respected, and that information related to their accommodation needs will not be discussed without their consent.
Return to Work Process
Maple Leaf Foods will continue to develop and document a return to work process that outlines the steps that the company will take to facilitate the return to work of employees who have been absent due to a disability and require disability-related accommodations in order to return to work. The return to work process incorporates the following elements:
- Identifying the essential job tasks or functions.
- Determining a reasonable method to provide accommodation that enables the employee with disability to perform the essential duties of the job.
- Maintaining the return to work policy in writing and tracking the progress of employees who are currently being accommodated as a result of disability.
- Developing and providing training to the managers and other professionals responsible for executing the return to work process.
The goal is to provide the employee with a timely return to work that is safe, productive, meaningful, and consistent with the worker’s functional abilities. This return to work process does not replace or override any other return to work process under any other statute.
Individual Accommodation Plans
Maple Leaf Foods will continue to develop and document individual accommodation plans which comprise part of the return to work process, performance management, career development, and redeployment. The individual accommodation plan will be provided to the point of undue hardship and will incorporate the following elements:
- The employee’s participation in the development of the individual accommodation plan.
- The manner in which the employee will be assessed on an individual basis.
- The manner in which Maple Leaf Foods can request evaluations by an outside medical professional or other expert at our own expense to assist with determining if and how a suitable accommodation can be achieved.
- The manner in which the employee can request the participation of a representative from their bargaining agent, or other representative from the workplace, where the employee is not represented by a bargaining agent, in the development of the accommodation plan.
- The frequency by which the plan will be reviewed and updated.
- The plan will outline the steps to follow when providing reasons to the employee, if the individual accommodation policy is denied.
- The plan will outline the steps to protect the privacy of the employee’s personal information.
- The plan will be provided in an accessible format that considers the employee’s accessibility needs.
Workplace Emergency Response Information
Maple Leaf Foods believes that emergency preparation is an important component to the health, safety, and security of all people. We recognize the need for accommodation in an emergency situation for those individuals who are unable to follow the standard emergency plan in their work location. We will continue to develop individualized workplace emergency response plans for employees upon awareness of their needs for accommodation in an emergency. In addition:
- Maple Leaf Foods will provide all existing public emergency procedures, plans and public safety information, upon request, in a timely manner and in accessible format.
- The individualized workplace emergency response plan will include the necessary steps individuals with disabilities will take during an emergency.
- Upon consent, we will provide designated assistance to employees with a disability when required.
- The plan will be communicated to the employee’s manager and safety personnel on an ‘as needed’ basis.
- The plan will be maintained and updated with any changes to employee’s accessibility needs and location.
- The information will be stored in an area that can be accessed by all Human Resource professionals.
Performance Management and Talent Development
Maple Leaf Foods encourages and supports the growth and development of all employees in their career. We will consider the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities and reference the individual accommodation plans when:
- Using the organization’s performance management process in respect of employees with disabilities.
- Providing career development and advancement opportunities to employees with disabilities.
- When redeploying employees with disabilities.
In addition, we will develop and provide training programs to those individuals responsible for supporting performance management and talent development to ensure compliance to legal requirements under the AODA.
Accessibility Standards for Information and Communication
Maple Leaf Foods is committed to meeting the communication needs of people with disabilities.
Accessible Formats and Communication Supports
The company has and will continue to incorporate new accessibility requirements under the standard by doing the following:
- Consult with employees to provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports that is suitable and meets the needs of people with disabilities in a timely manner.
- Provide accessible information that is needed in order to perform the employee’s job.
- Make arrangements in a timely manner and at a cost that is no more than the regular cost charged to other persons.
- Notify the public about the availability of information in accessible formats and communication supports upon request.
Accessible Websites and Web Content
- Maple Leaf Foods will continue to incorporate AODA compliance into website project management.
- All corporate website owners will continue to receive training on how to comply with website accessibility requirements and conduct audits to ensure ongoing compliance.
- All new web content posted on Maple Leaf Foods public websites conforms to the World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 at Level A.
- Maple Leaf Foods has implemented a plan to ensure that all corporate websites comply with WCAG 2.0 Level AA and will conduct accessibility reviews of its websites prior to launch.
Accessibility Standards for Design of Public Spaces
Maple Leaf Foods is committed to incorporate accessibility into the design of public spaces when building or making significant renovations to existing public spaces. This will be done in accordance with the criteria established by Ontario’s Integrated Accessibility Standards including but not limited to the following:
- Outdoor public eating areas.
- Outdoor paths of travel such as sidewalks, ramps, stairs, curb ramps, and rest areas.
- Accessible off-street parking.
- Service-related elements such as service counters, fixed queuing lines, and waiting areas.
For More Information
If you require more information on this accessibility plan, need to request this plan in an accessible format, or wish to provide feedback, please contact us at:
6985 Financial Dr., Mississauga, ON, L5N 0A1