As of January 1, 2021, the new Work Place Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations: SOR/2020-130 (the Regulations) come into effect. The Regulations apply to federally regulated public and private workplaces under Part II of the Canada Labour Code (the Code). The Regulations create a regime under Part II of the Code for workplace violence and sexual harassment, replacing parts of the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, Maritime Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, and On Board Trains Occupational Health and Safety Regulations related to violence prevention in the workplace.
Summary of Employer Requirements under the Regulations
- Workplace Assessment.
- Conduct a workplace assessment identifying risk factors that contribute to violence and harassment in the workplace and within six months of identifying risk factors, develop and implement preventative measures addressing those risks.
- Review the workplace assessment every three years and update, if necessary, and/or review in certain circumstances when occurrences take place.
- Workplace harassment and violence prevention policy (the policy).
- Develop and make available a policy outlining how harassment and violence will be addressed in the workplace.
- There are a number of items that mut be included in the policy that are outlined in the Regulations such as details of risk factors, training, the resolution process, emergency procedures, privacy protections, and support measures.
- The policy must be reviewed, and updated, if necessary, once every three years.
- Emergency Procedures.
- Develop and make available to employees, emergency procedures for when there is an occurrence or threat of an occurrence that poses an immediate danger to the health and safety of an employee.
- The emergency procedure must be reviewed if implemented.
- Develop and provide training on workplace harassment and violence, which must include:
- the elements of the policy;
- a description of the relationship between workplace and violence and the prohibited grounds of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act; and
- a description of how to recognize, minimize, prevent, and respond to workplace harassment and violence.
- Training must be provided within three months of an employee’s start date or if already an employee or the employer, within one year of January 1, 2021, and ongoing once every three years.
- The developments required in #1 through #4 above are to be done jointly with the applicable partner (a policy committee, or if there is none, a workplace committee or health and safety representative).
- Support Measures.
- Provide employees with information on medical, psychological, and other support services available nearby.
- Resolution Process.
- Have a resolution process for occurrences of workplace violence and harassment. The steps and timelines required are set out in detail in the Regulations. Among other elements they include:
- have a designated recipient or work unit to notify of an occurrence;
- contact the party or witness that submitted the notice within 7 days;
- take every reasonable effort to resolve the occurrence beginning within 45 days;
- conduct an investigation, when an occurrence is not resolved through conciliation;
- have an investigator with the appropriate training, knowledge and experience. The investigators report must include a description of the occurrence and the investigator’s conclusions and recommendations;
- determine with the applicable partner, which recommendations to implement and implement those recommendations; and
- complete the resolution process within one year of being notified.
- Records and Reports.
- Keep health and safety records for a period of 10 years, including amongst other things, assessments, copies of notices of occurrence, and investigation reports.
- Annual Report to Minister.
- Provide to the Minister, on or before March 1 of every year, an annual report related to harassment and violence in the workplace.
As the new requirements come into effect January 1, 2021, federally regulated employers should review and update their workplace harassment and violence policies as soon as possible to ensure they are in compliance with the new regulations. The lawyers at Heeney Vokey LLP are happy to assist and provide guidance on these changes.