Employees at the federal government’s immigration call center are struggling with a demanding workload while facing “severe and unfair” assessments, according to an external audit. “from superiors.
The inspection by Charron Human Resources, released Friday, said staff at the Montreal call center for Refugees Immigration and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) said they had little time between calls. Calls, inadequate training, limited career development, and a “rigorous” assessment process leave them feeling “anxious and fearful.”
The results show that the turnover rate at the center is as high as 30%, with 11% of employees taking unpaid leave.
IRCC hired the company in March to conduct a workplace audit. It is the department’s only call center and handles immigration related calls from across Canada and the world.
Former employees who previously spoke to CBC News on condition of anonymity describe an office of overworked employees constantly under scrutiny by management – where pressure is to make as many calls as possible. The better affects everything, even having to take a break in the bathroom.
The audit followed a damn report released last yearin which IRCC employees complain that their racist colleagues face repeated use of derogatory terms by supervisors and other employees, and have restrictions on promotion opportunities.
Unions representing employees at IRCC, Service Canada, Employment and Social Development Canada and the Immigration and Refugees Board said they were concerned about the audit’s findings.
But the Canadian Immigration and Employment Union (CEIU) also said the audit did not consider previous reports of racism and discrimination.
“The CEIU has reason to believe that concerns related to racism and discrimination in the workplace were improperly addressed in the report and that additional steps need to be taken to get a better picture. clear and honest portrayal of the situation,” the union said in a statement.
The only mention of racism and discrimination in the audit was a recommendation that provided training on unconscious bias.
CBC News has reached out to Charron for comment but had not received a response at the time of publication.
Other recommendations include introducing technology and strategies to ease work processes, providing leadership training for supervisors with a focus on employee evaluation and wellbeing, and establishing a plan employee development plan.
A statement from IRCC praised the “courage” of the staff who took part in the review, but did not explicitly indicate whether it implemented the recommendations.
“The department agrees with the recommendations and is committed to providing a safe, diverse, equitable and anti-racism workplace,” it said.
The union says it has not been consulted by Charron on the recommendations.