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19 June 2019
The federal government has published the draft Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations. The regulations will support the recently passed Bill C-65 and will replace the current workplace violence obligations in the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, as well as certain related provisions in the Maritime Occupational Health and Safety Regulations and the On Board Trains Occupational Safety and Health Regulations.
If implemented as drafted, the new regulations will require employers to do the following, jointly with the policy committee or, if there is no policy committee, with the workplace committee or health and safety representative, among other things.
Develop, make available and update policies
The policy must contain the required elements, such as:
Conduct, monitor and update workplace assessments
The assessment must identify risks of harassment and violence in the workplace and develop and implement preventive measures. This assessment must be done by individuals who are qualified by training, education or experience. The assessment must be monitored for accuracy and reviewed and updated at least every three years. A review must also be undertaken:
Develop and make available emergency procedures
Procedures must be developed and implemented if a harassment and violence occurrence poses an immediate danger to the health and safety of employees or when there is a threat of such an occurrence.
Develop, deliver and update training
Training must be developed and delivered to new employees within three months and again at least every three years. The training must cover, among other things:
Make support measures available
Employers must make information available about support services that employees may access in their geographical area.
Follow prescribed resolution process
The new process requires the employer to follow these prescribed steps:
The employer must also inform the respondent of the same information. If the notice was received from a non-anonymous third party, the employer must contact the third party within five days.
The investigator must provide a statement of their qualifications. The employer cannot unilaterally propose a list of investigators. Any list of investigators must be developed in consultation with the policy committee or, if there is no policy committee, with the workplace committee or health and safety representative.
The proposed regulations were available for public comment until 26 May 2019.
Employers were strongly encouraged to participate and make their views known. These are detailed regulatory provisions that will increase the administrative burden and costs for employers. They also create new fronts for dispute and litigation by unions and employees. This is particularly true since employees are being given an undefined right to representation in the resolution process.
For further information on this topic please contact Shane D Todd or Cathy Chandler at Fasken by telephone (+1 416 366 8381) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). The Fasken website can be accessed at www.fasken.com.
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