Regulations Amending the Student Employment Programs Participants Regulations: SOR/2022-163
Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 156, Number 14
SOR/2022-163 June 24, 2022
PUBLIC SERVICE EMPLOYMENT ACT
P.C. 2022-823 June 24, 2022
Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Public Service Commission and the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, pursuant to section 21 of the Public Service Employment Act footnote a, makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Student Employment Programs Participants Regulations.
Regulations Amending the Student Employment Programs Participants Regulations
1 Section 4 of the Student Employment Programs Participants Regulations footnote 1 is replaced by the following:
4 A participant who is a Canadian citizen, within the meaning of the Citizenship Act, or a permanent resident, as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, must be appointed to the public service under a student employment program ahead of other persons who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents and who have not previously been appointed to the public service under a student employment program if the participant meets the qualifications for the work to be performed.
2 Section 4 of the Student Employment Programs Participants Regulations, as it read immediately before the day on which these Regulations come into force, continues to apply in respect of appointment processes that commenced before that day.
Coming into Force
3 These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)
The Student Employment Programs Participants Exclusion Approval Order made under section 20 of the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA), and the Student Employment Programs Participants Regulations (Regulations) made under section 21 of the PSEA, provide the requirements for the appointment of students in student employment programs established by the Treasury Board. Such appointments enable students to gain meaningful work experience and provide the public service with a pool of recent graduates for future recruitment; thereby enabling it to achieve its longer-term public service renewal objectives. Given this, appointments of students should be aligned with the overarching principles embedded in the PSEA.
Section 39 of the PSEA establishes preferences for appointment, which require that specified groups must be appointed ahead of other candidates. The Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1, amended section 39 to provide permanent residents with the same level of preference for appointment as Canadian citizens. However, the Regulations currently provide a preference for appointment to a participant who is a Canadian citizen. As a result, the Regulations are no longer aligned with the preference scheme of the PSEA.
The objective of this regulatory amendment is to ensure continued alignment between the Regulations and the PSEA framework and to strengthen the Government of Canada’s commitment towards diversity and inclusion.
The regulatory amendment modifies section 4 of the current Regulations to provide permanent residents (as defined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act) with an appointment preference equivalent to that currently provided to Canadian citizens.
This will enable students who are permanent residents to be referred to organizations and be considered at the same time as students who are Canadian citizens.
This regulatory amendment is viewed as a consequential amendment that emanates from the decision to extend preference in legislation. Consultations occurred for the legislative amendment, including with employee diversity networks, bargaining agents and departmental senior officials for Employment Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. The policy lead on student employment, Treasury Board Secretariat, was consulted on the regulatory proposal and confirmed their support of the proposed approach.
Considering this, no other consultations were undertaken, and the amendment was not prepublished in the Canada Gazette, Part I.
A regulatory amendment was the only option considered. As regulations are legislative instruments, they may only be changed by regulatory amendment. Without this regulatory amendment, the preference scheme for students would continue to be misaligned with the current PSEA provisions.
Benefits and costs
The overall net costs associated with the amendment are minimal and expected to be less than $1 million annually.
The referral of students within the Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP) is done at the Public Service Commission (PSC), through the Student Recruitment System; the platform used to identify potential students. Amending the preference provision requires a modification to this system.
Other anticipated costs for hiring organizations and the PSC concern the effort required to review and update internal documents, such as guidance documents related to the appointment of students.
Small business lens
The amendments relate to the appointment of students to the public service under student employment programs. Analysis under the small business lens concluded that the proposed regulation will not impact Canadian small businesses.
The one-for-one rule does not apply, as there is no impact on business.
Regulatory cooperation and alignment
The regulatory amendment does not have a regulatory cooperation component.
Strategic environmental assessment
In accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals, a preliminary scan concluded that a strategic environmental assessment is not required.
Gender-based analysis plus (GBA+)
The recent changes to the PSEA are part of the broader diversity and inclusion strategy for the federal public service. Namely, preference in an external advertised appointment process has been extended to permanent residents, as preference has been identified as having a disproportionate impact on members of visible minority groups. Given that student employment is a means to attain public service renewal objectives, it is important that appointments of students be aligned with the recent changes to the PSEA.
There are 3 recognized student employment programs in the federal public service: the FSWEP, the Post-Secondary Co-op/Internship Program and the Research Affiliate Program. FSWEP is the largest of the 3 student programs, employing thousands of students each year.
In 2021, the makeup of the pool of applicants to the FSWEP comprised of 5.8% permanent resident students; 59.1% of which identified as being members of visible minorities.
The result of expanding the preference to include permanent resident students could increase the number of applicants who are permanent residents and, by extension, the number of applicants who are members of visible minorities.
Given that this regulatory initiative could lead to the hiring of more members of visible minorities, it would contribute to strengthening the Government of Canada’s commitment towards diversity.
Implementation, compliance and enforcement, and service standards
To ensure effective and efficient implementation, the PSC worked in close collaboration with the policy lead on student employment, the Treasury Board Secretariat. As well, required changes to the Student Recruitment System are being made prior to the coming into force of the regulatory amendment.
Compliance and enforcement
Deputy heads are accountable to the PSC for the application of all appointment and appointment-related authorities delegated to them. This includes ensuring that appointments within student employment programs are in compliance with the Regulations. Deputy heads and sub-delegated persons must respect the requirements of the Regulations.
In addition, the PSC has the authority to conduct audits and investigations into student appointments.
Regulations and Staffing complaints
Policy and Strategic Directions Directorate
Public Service Commission of Canada