Bill C-65 introduced changes to the Canada Labour Code requiring employers to prevent harassment and violence in the workplace. This article provides a summary of the key requirements for your organization. For more detail, please join us for a webinar on November 4, 2021 to discuss these obligations in more detail. You can click here to register.
Bill C-65 was designed to have employers take a proactive approach to harassment and violence in the workplace. As such, employers are required to conduct a “workplace assessment” to determine the risk of workplace violence and harassment, then develop and implement strategies to prevent against these types of incidents.
There is an ongoing obligation to update the workplace assessment if workplace conditions change or additional risk factors are discovered and a full reassessment must be conducted every three years.
Workplace Harassment and Violence Policy
Employers are required to introduce a workplace policy that includes the following:
- A harassment and violence mission statement;
- A description of the different workplace parties and their roles;
- A description of the workplace risk factors;
- A summary of the harassment and violence training provided by the employer;
- A summary of the complaint resolution process;
- Reasons to update the workplace risk assessment;
- A summary of emergency procedures;
- A privacy statement;
- A description of other recourses available to victims of harassment and violence besides those provided by the Code or Regulations;
- A description of support measures available to employees; and,
- The identity of the “designated recipient” who will receive harassment and violence complaints;
Employers have until January 1, 2022 to prepare their policy. This policy, like the workplace risk assessment, must be updated every three years.
Employers are required to provide training to all employees that is tailored to the particular risk factors that exist at the workplace. All employees must receive this training by January 1, 2022, and refresher training at least every three years. New employees must receive training within three months of being hired.
Complaint Resolution Process
The Regulations mandate that within 45 days of receiving a formal complaint, the parties must attempt an informal resolution of the complaint. If unsuccessful, the complaint then proceeds to a formal investigation.
The complaint resolution process must be completed within a year, and while it is ongoing, the employer is required to provide monthly updates to both the complainant and respondent.
Bill-65, has introduced serious obligations for employers to update their workplace policies and ensure staff are trained on their new responsibilities. Please contact us if you could use some guidance preparing your policies or training your employees. You can register for one of our courses here or contact us for a customized program for your staff.