As of January 1, 2021, federally regulated employers are legally obligated to prevent and respond to workplace harassment and violence.
The new changes apply to all federally regulated workplaces and employers, including the federally regulated private sector (e.g. airlines, banks and railways).
To comply with the new legislation, federally regulated employers must:
- Identify risk factors that contribute to workplace harassment and violence and develop preventative measures for mitigating against identified risks.
- Develop a harassment and violence prevention policy that contains key elements specified in the legislation including a complaints resolution process, emergency procedures and support measures available to employees.
- Develop a training program and train employees on the policy and how to recognize, prevent and respond to workplace harassment and violence, as well as the relationship between workplace harassment and violence and discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act.
- Keep records of all complaints, responses to complaints, and investigation reports;
- Report to the Minister of Labour annually any occurrences of workplace violence and harassment, how the complaints were resolved and how long it took to resolve them.
Federally regulated employers with existing policies are encouraged to review and update their policies, training programs and record keeping practices to ensure they are compliant.
Our labour and employment team can assist employers with drafting and revising policies in compliance with the new rules. Please contact a member of our labour and employment team if you have questions on how to prevent and respond to workplace harassment and violence.