A Brief History of Fair Fields’ Hiring and Management Practices
Fair Fields has employed full-time paid interns and/or seasonal employees, as well as many volunteers for the past six years. Although we have only recently developed formal policies for hiring and work management, we have always been inclusive in hiring and endeavoured to provide a workplace that is free of harassment and discrimination.
Over the last six years, our full-time employees have included people who identify as transgender/non-binary, recent immigrant, and indigenous. In addition, two of our full-time employees and one of our part-time employees were women.
Our recently-developed formal policies build on our experience with these employees. These policies include the following:
Fair Fields does not discriminate when selecting new employees. We do not consider race, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, religion, or national origin in our hiring decisions. We hire employees based on their qualifications, skills, knowledge and commitment.
When selecting new employees, our prime consideration is that the individuals must be willing to learn and likely to fulfill their job-related responsibilities.
We recognize that candidates and/or employees may request accommodations in order to participate or perform to the best of their abilities. In accordance with provincial labour standards and human rights guidelines, reasonable workplace accommodations and adjustments will be arranged as needed and agreed upon with employees.
Employees and volunteers can expect to be treated with respect at Fair Fields. Harassment is not tolerated.
Employees and volunteers are encouraged to report any behaviour which they feel is intimidating, offensive, or otherwise unwelcome, including:
Fair Fields commits to fostering a harassment-free work environment and setting an example about appropriate workplace behaviour by:
Fair Fields encourages clear and open communication among employees and between employees and the owner/manager. As an employer, we commit to constructive criticism when raising concerns with employees about work practices or behaviours. We ask employees to use the same approach when discussing issues with other employees or with the manager.
In the case of complaints or conflicts between employees, we recommend that the person(s) with concerns try to resolve the problem by speaking directly with the person or persons directly involved.
If the issue is between employees, and a direct approach fails to resolve the issue, then we ask the employee(s) to bring the concern to the owner/manager, who will endeavour to correct the problem behaviour or mediate the dispute in a timely fashion. If the behaviour of concern is simply unacceptable, then employment may be terminated.
If the employee complaint is about behaviour of the owner/manager, and a direct discussion does not resolve the issue, then the owner commits to a mediation process, using a mediator acceptable to both parties.
All employees are encouraged to bring forward any complaints or recommendations dealing with safety, health standards, proper working conditions, performance appraisals, discipline and fair management practices, without fear of reprisal.
During the last two years, we moved from internship-based labour to hiring more experienced individuals with more farming experience. As a result, we have a less formal training process.
While we prefer to hire employees with some farming experience, preferably in organic farming, we have had employees with direct experience. We also recognize that crops, products and farming methods vary from farm to farm and that learning new knowledge and skills is an important element of the work. We commit to helping employees to learn while working. We work alongside our employees much of the time, providing direction, praise for work well done and correction when it is needed.
We encourage employees to ask questions about our methods and to suggest changes in farm practices if they might lead to improved production or working conditions, recognizing that changes are not always possible in our context and that some may take time.
Depending on the prior experience of the employee, training and work responsibilities during the regular workday may include the following:
For more information on our hiring, management and training policies and practices, don’t hesitate to contact us.