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Demographics Checklist for Workforce Planning

The following checklist highlights key information that organizations will want to consider when preparing for a workforce planning exercise. This information is meant to complement existing information about your workforce and to suggest considerations that your organization may want to keep in mind.

Available Information Data Considerations
* The workforce adjustment agreements require organizations, where practicable, to not re-engage or re-employ temporary agency personnel, contractors, consultants, term employees and all other non-indeterminate persons where such action would facilitate the appointment of surplus employees or laid-off persons.
Acting assignments
  • Number and length
  • Acting assignments in vacant or non-vacant positions
  • Consider whether or not acting assignments could be filled by qualified priorities?
Assignment, secondment, interchange
  • List of employees, including length of assignment, secondment or interchange
  • Inflows and outflows
  • Are employees still planning to return as indicated? What are their new plans?


  • Type (e.g. retirements, resignations, deployments and others) -  trends and forecasts by group and level
  • Regional perspective
  • Public Service-wide data
  • What do the trends mean in terms of your organization’s capacity to absorb internal priorities or priorities external to your organization?
  • How does your organization compare to the Public Service?
  • Timely, up-to-date information concerning your actual vs. planned workforce
  • Does your budget reflect your full-time equivalent needs—current and future?
  • Have you taken into consideration costs associated with surplus employees?
Employment equity
  • Representation, availability, gaps by group
  • What impact will changes to recruitment and workforce management have on existing programs/strategies? What will the impacts be?
Indeterminate workforce
  • Workforce demographics of your indeterminate population, including age, retirement eligibility, salary and region
  • Skills and attributes of your workforce
  • Up-to-date performance agreements
  • Learning plans
  • Career objectives and goals
  • How many and distribution?  Permanent or temporary funding?
  • Other questions (retirement eligibility, leave credits, salary, etc.)
  • Do all employees have performance agreements with clear work objectives?
  • Have there been discussions about skill sets, competencies and future career plans?
  • Do you know the skill sets of your workforce?
Long-term leave – other (maternity, parental, educational, interchange, etc.)
  • List of employees, including return dates
  • Are employees still planning to return as indicated? What are their plans?
  • Has the employee’s substantive position been filled indeterminately?
Long-term sick leave
  • Number of employees on sick leave
    • Type (with or without pay)
    • Duration of absence
  • Date of first contact from manager
  • Numbers of employees on sick leave (without pay) applied for and were admitted for coverage under Long-Term Disability plans
  • What is the employee’s date of return (whether graduated or full-time; pre-injury/illness position or modified duties; with or without accommodation)?
  • Are the trends indicating an increase in use of long-term sick leave?
  • What strategies are in place to communicate with these employees and help them return to work?
Official languages
  • List of employees whose language test results have expired or will soon expire
  • Breakdown of English, French and bilingual positions
  • How will those employees with expired or soon-to-expire language levels be managed?
  • What gaps exist and what strategies are in place to address official language issues?
  • Could regions/services be impacted by potential changes?
Organizational charts
  • Organizational chart
  • List of all vacant positions and indication of whether or not they are funded
  • Is the information in the organizational chart current?
  • Are there vacant positions on the organizational chart and can they be deleted/abolished?
  • Are current reporting relationships reflected in the organizational chart?
  • Internal forecasted needs over the next one to two years
  • Are there opportunities to fill positions within your department with impacted employees?
  • Considering the availability of vacant positions and the staffing plans, what is the possibility that affected employees may receive a reasonable job offer from within your organization?
Regional demographics
  • Up-to-date information on places of work of employees
  • Are there other departments in your region that are impacted by workforce adjustment? How will that impact decision making concerning guaranteed reasonable job offers?
  • Trends and forecasts (per group, level, region)
  • Employees eligible to retire (without penalty / with an unreduced pension) within one year, two years, five years
  • Trends of how long groups and levels remain after employees are eligible to retire
  • What are the employee’s intentions?
  • What parts of your business/organization will be impacted by retirements? For example, certain business units or groups such as managers.
  • What skill sets/corporate knowledge may be lost due to retirements?
    • What options are available to transfer knowledge (technology, succession planning, learning, etc.)?
  • How will your retirement trends impact your attrition rates?
  • Departmental staffing plans
  • Data from the Priority Administration System
  • What are the opportunities to absorb affected employees within your organization?
  • What are the opportunities to absorb affected employees within the Public Service?

Students and casuals

  • Number
  • Casuals – group and level
  • What proportion of your population is made up of students and casuals?
  • Length
  • Type of jobs
  • Do you have an appropriate balance of term versus indeterminate employees* —need flexibility to absorb reductions
  • Do you want to allow your terms to rollover at three-year mark—need flexibility to absorb reductions

Now What

  • Attrition management - mechanism to manage filling vacant positions – e.g. committee to ensure absorption of affected and surplus staff, minimize indeterminate hiring and ensure bilingual capacity is retained
  • Ensure human resources advisors have up-to-date information and are well informed on related policies and guidelines
  • Ensure that managers keep this information updated
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