External audit describes ‘anxious and fearful’ employees at immigration call centre

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Employees at the federal authorities’s immigration call centre are struggling underneath a demanding workload whereas coping with “strict and unfair” evaluations from their superiors, in keeping with an exterior audit.

The audit by Charron Human Resources, launched Friday, says employees at the Montreal call centre for Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reported having little time between calls, inadequate coaching, restricted profession growth and a “strict” analysis course of that leaves them feeling “anxious and fearful.”

It discovered the turnover price at the centre is as excessive as 30 per cent, with 11 per cent of employees on depart with out pay.

IRCC employed the corporate in March to conduct the office audit. It is the division’s solely call centre and fields immigration-related calls from throughout Canada and the world. 

Former employees who had beforehand spoke to CBC News on situation on anonymity described an workplace of overworked workers continually being monitored by administration — the place the strain to discipline as many calls as doable affected every thing, even rest room breaks.

The audit follows a damning report launched final yr, by which IRCC employees complained that their racialized colleagues confronted repeated use of offensive phrases from supervisors and different workers, and had restricted alternatives for development.

Union involved

The union that represents employees at IRCC, Service Canada, Employment and Social Development Canada and the Immigration and Refugee Board says it is involved in regards to the audit’s findings.

But the Canada Employment and Immigration Union (CEIU) additionally says the audit did little to look into the earlier experiences of racism and discrimination.

“CEIU has purpose to consider considerations associated to racism and discrimination within the office have been improperly addressed within the report and that further steps should be undertaken to have a transparent and trustworthy portrait of the state of affairs,” the union mentioned in a press release.

The solely point out of racism and discrimination within the audit is a suggestion to offer coaching about unconscious bias.

CBC News reached out to Charron for remark however did not obtain a response at the time of publication.

Other suggestions included introducing know-how and methods to ease the work course of, offering management coaching to supervisors with a give attention to worker well-being and analysis, and establishing a workers growth plan.

An announcement from IRCC praised the “braveness” of employees who participated within the audit, however didn’t explicitly point out if it might implement the suggestions.

“The division agrees with the suggestions and is dedicated to offering a protected, numerous, equitable and anti-racist office,” it mentioned.

The union says it was not consulted by Charron in regards to the suggestions.

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