The new regulations will have a significant impact on employers’ responsibilities in workplace health and safety matters. The new rules are centered on the prevention of workplace harassment and violence, the response to workplace harassment and violence, and supporting victims of workplace violence and harassment.
In this document, we will explore what is considered workplace Harassment and Violence and briefly discuss employer responsibilities to prevent workplace harassment and violence.
Harassment and Violence—harassment and violence means any action, conduct or comment, including of a sexual nature, that can reasonably be expected to cause offense, humiliation or other physical or psychological injury or illness to an employee, including any prescribed action, conduct or comment
Applicable Partner: In these Regulations, a reference to the “applicable partner” is to be read as a reference to the policy committee or, if there is no policy committee, as a reference to the workplace committee or the health and safety representative.
Prevention: Employer Responsibilities
Identify Risk Factors: An employer and the applicable partner must jointly identify the risk factors, internal and external to the workplace, that contribute to harassment and violence in the workplace, taking into account several factors such as the organizational structure of the workplace, including the culture and conditions; the physical design of the workplace, external circumstances to the workplace, such as family violence, and more.
Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Policy: An employer and the applicable partner must jointly develop workplace harassment and violence prevention policy. The policy must contain up to 11 elements, including an employer mission statement, description of risk factors, summary of the resolution process, the reasons a review might be conducted, and much more under section 10.
Workplace Assessment: An employer and the applicable partner must carry out a workplace assessment that consists of identifying risk factors under section 8 and the development and implementation of preventive measures under section 9.