GATINEAU, Que. – New Canadian regulations to address workplace violence and harassment will apply to federally regulated businesses including truck fleets as of Jan. 1, under a framework established by Bill C-65.
The Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations were published on Wednesday in Canada Gazette: Part 2, one of the final steps in the regulatory process.
Workplace violence and harassment, including sexual harassment, will be treated as occupational health and safety issues. Employers in these workplaces will need to develop a policy that addresses harassment and violence, and every year will need to investigate, record and report all cases of harassment and violence to the Labour Program.
Employers will have to provide employees with mandatory training on harassment and violence protection, and offer information about support services in their area.
Privacy protections are also to be established to protect those involved in the harassment and violence, and during the resolution process that follows.
“It shouldn’t be on our radar, but it needs to be.”– Craig Faucette, Trucking HR Canada
Carriers will need to develop the workplace harassment and violence prevention policies with their policy committees, workplace committees, or health and safety representative, the Canadian Trucking Alliance notes. They will also need to assess the risk of workplace harassment and violence, and respond to any incidents within seven days.
Trucking HR Canada, a group devoted to trucking-related HR initiatives, is working with the alliance to develop three online learning modules by this fall. The first will inform employees about rights and responsibilities and where they can go with a complaint. Another teaches supervisors and employers about their specific responsibilities. The final module will be for those who are designated to hear complaints.
“We shouldn’t have to do this,” said Trucking HR Canada director – policy and programs Craig Faucette, during a related presentation at the organization’s Women with Drive conference. “It shouldn’t be on our radar, but it needs to be.”
Under Bill 65, harassment and violence is defined as “any action, conduct or comment, including of a sexual nature, that can reasonably be expected to cause offence, humiliation or other physical or psychological injury or illness to an employee, including any prescribed action, conduct or comment.”
“Every worker deserves a safe workplace, and by working together we can make that a reality,” said Labor Minister Filomena Tassi.
The new regulations include timelines to resolve complaints, confidentiality of those involved in any investigations, protections for employees victimized by third parties like clients, and the qualifications of those expected to investigate matters and offer recommendations.
Also included are employer obligations for corrective measures, the roles of a related workplace committee, and the support to be provided for employees who have experienced workplace harassment and violence.
“Every Canadian has the right to work in a healthy, respectful and safe environment,” adds Jean-Yves Duclos, president of the Treasury Board of Canada.
The government is supporting the bill with $7.4 million in annual funding over a five-year period that began in 2018-19. Of that amount, $3.5 million a year is dedicated to grants and contributions through the Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Fund.
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