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The Fair Practices Office provides assistance to Manitobans applying for, or receiving services under, the following Family Services and Jobs and the Economy programs:
It means you can expect that:
Contact your worker to talk about your concern. If your worker is not able to resolve the matter, ask to speak to their supervisor. If, after speaking with the supervisor, you still feel that you may have been treated unfairly, then you may contact the Fair Practices Office for assistance.
No, services are offered free of charge.
No, but the Fair Practices Office gives priority to resolving issues that are current.
Timelines vary, but the Fair Practices Office tries to provide a response as quickly as possible. Most simple issues are resolved within a few days. More complex issues that require more comprehensive investigation can take several weeks or longer to resolve.
No. You may make a complaint in writing, by mail or fax, or over the phone. When an issue is particularly complex, we encourage people to put their concerns in writing.
Yes, the Fair Practices Office makes independent decisions.
No, the Fair Practices Office acts as a neutral third party to help complainants and program staff resolve concerns. The Fair Practices Office will make inquiries and conduct investigations to resolve complaints. The Fair Practices Office treats all complainants and program staff with respect and open-mindedness.
Yes. You maintain your right to file an appeal with the Social Service Appeal Board on any appealable issues. An appeal may be filed before, during or after the involvement of the Fair Practices Office. If we are able to resolve your concern, you may choose to withdraw your appeal before a scheduled hearing.
No. The Fair Practices Office will not provide information or testify on behalf of a complainant or on behalf of the program at an appeal hearing.
No. The Fair Practices Office does not issue orders. If an investigation suggests that a complainant was treated unfairly, it will make recommendations to the program about how the situation could be resolved.
Manitoba Family Services and Jobs and the Economy programs are committed to fair treatment and rely on the Fair Practice Office to help guide them to improve service delivery. Fair Practices Office recommendations are made after consultation with the complainant and program staff. We aim to work co-operatively with all parties to find resolutions. Program staff are bound by the rules and regulations of their programs and cannot make decisions that go against law or policy. In cases where the Fair Practices Office makes recommendations that may affect policy, a full review of the recommendation and its affect on program delivery would need to be undertaken before changes are made. If you feel that staff are not following the recommendations of the Fair Practice Office, please contact us and we will address your concerns.
Probably not. Each program is responsible for their own staffing assignments and availability is affected by existing staff resources, case load and area of expertise. The Fair Practices Office can help you and your worker improve communication.
Manitoba Family Services and Jobs and the Economy staff are committed to building and maintaining a respectful service environment, free from all forms of harassment, in which the dignity and self-respect of every person is valued. Employees are personally responsible, at all times, for their behaviour and conduct.
A respectful service environment is one that values diversity and inclusion, dignity of the person, courteous conduct, mutual respect, fairness and equality, positive communication between people and collaborative working relationships.
Harassment is any objectionable or offensive behaviour that is known, or ought to be reasonably known, to be unwelcome. It includes objectionable actions (e.g. touching, pushing), comments (e.g. jokes, name-calling) or displays (e.g. posters, cartoons) made on either a one-time or continuous basis that demean, belittle, or cause humiliation or embarrassment. Harassment can also take place electronically (e.g. text messages, social media, email or screen savers).
Staff and clients both have a responsibility to behave in a manner which will not reasonably offend, intimidate, embarrass or humiliate others, whether deliberate or unintentional.
Your worker has an obligation to explain your rights and obligations under the program. In order to determine eligibility, your worker may require you to provide certain information. Your worker has to tell you the consequences of not providing the required information; which may include holding or withdrawing benefits or services. Being told that you may not receive the benefits or services you need can feel frightening when you rely on them for your basic needs. If you are worried that you may lose your benefits or services, ask your worker to explain the reason why the information they are requesting is required and the policy that supports their statements. If you feel that the consequences are not supported by the policy, you should ask to speak to the supervisor in charge. If, after speaking to the supervisor, you still have concerns, you can contact the Fair Practices Office for help.
Not entirely. The Fair Practices Office must be able to share relevant information with all parties to a complaint. When you file a complaint with the Fair Practices Office you will be asked to provide your consent, preferably in writing, prior to the start of our investigation or negotiation with the program.
The Fair Practices Office will not share information you provide without your consent unless:
The Fair Practices Office has an obligation to report this information to the appropriate authority. If this happens, we will tell you right away and give you a chance to report the information yourself. You will also be told that you have a right to hire a lawyer to represent you.
The Fair Practices Office has the authority to review how you were treated by Government of Manitoba staff. If you have a complaint against an organization or agency acting on behalf of the Province of Manitoba, you should speak with your case worker about your concern. If your worker is not able to address your concern, you should ask to speak to the supervisor in charge. If you feel that Government staff have not dealt fairly with your complaint, you can contact the Fair Practices Office for help. You may also want to ask a community advocacy group for help.
Income Assistance for First Nations people living on reserves in Manitoba is funded by the Government of Canada and administered by the Chief and Council of the reserves. Federal Income Assistance closely mirrors Provincial Employment and Income Assistance but may vary from one community to another depending on the terms of agreement between the Band and the Government of Canada. You can request certain information from the Chief and Council about Income Assistance including policies and procedures and certain financial information. However, your request must be submitted in writing and you should keep a copy of your written request. The Chief and Council have 60 days to provide the requested information to you. If you do not receive the information you requested after 60 days, or if you have a concern about your benefits or the administration of the program, you can contact the complaints and allegations coordinator of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada for help, toll free, at 1-855-504-6760 or by fax at 1-819-997-8312 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.