With a bill before parliament aiming to amend the Canada Labour Code as it pertains to harassment and violence in federally regulated workplaces, the government is inviting Canadians to weigh in on its proposed regulatory framework.

The proposal provides an outline of key elements of a workplace harassment and violence prevention policy, including: timeframes; confidentiality; how to respond to third-party incidents, such as if an employee is harassed by a client; what qualifications are necessary for those investigating such incidents; the employer’s obligation to implement corrective measures; the role of a workplace committee; and what support should be provided to workers who experience harassment and violence.

Read: Federal government introduces bill to address workplace harassment, violence

“Not only have I been mandated by Prime Minister Trudeau to ensure that federally regulated workplaces are free from harassment and sexual violence, but this is also important to me, personally,” said Patty Hajdu, minister of employment, workforce development and labour, in a press release.

“Today, I’m proud to take another step in achieving this goal. As we move forward with this important initiative, it’s essential that we get it right. That’s why I’m asking all Canadians to participate in this consultation – the feedback we gather will be invaluable in implementing Canada’s new legislation.”

Alongside the online consultation, which will be open until Oct. 5, 2018, the government is hosting a series of roundtables with key industry stakeholders. It will also publish the highlighted findings.

Read: 60% of Canadians report experiencing workplace harassment: survey

The bill itself would require employers to prevent incidents of harassment and violence, respond effectively to these incidents if and when they do occur and support victims and affected employees.

It defines harassment and violence 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,” noted the release.

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com
See all comments Recent Comments


I am so looking forward to putting my comments on this major problem in government organizations, mainly by male management. I won’t hold back on my comments either as I’ve personally experienced harassment, and still am. The consequences of being a victim can be very damaging to a person’s health to the point of victims contemplating suicide. I should note that the problem of workplace harassment/bullying is as much provincial and municipal as it is federal. Provincial and municipal governments have barely done anything to address the problem since the #MeToo movement began. Governments should be there to help taxpayers, not abuse people.

I understand the bill only applies to federal workers, but hopefully in due time, the provincial and municipal governments will be forced to have similar laws. Highlights of my comments will include:
– Collective agreements should be changed disallowing a union rep to decide on a victim of harassment’s rights. Current unionized victims being harassed at work should have the option to opt out of the collective agreement to seek justice for what they experienced. Collective agreements were not designed to address cases of harassment and bullying towards women, and therefore unions are not equipped to deal with these cases.
– WCB/WSIB should not disallow a person who suffered intentional infliction of mental distress following workplace harassment to seek compensation for their injury. Intentional infliction of mental distress is not an accident.
– Biased HR who protect management harassing and bullying employees should not be allowed to handle complaints. An outside, independent agency, should be appointed to help victims of harassment, unionized or non-unionized, seek justice….by independent, I mean no government intervention. Provincial governments tend to use taxpayer money to essentially buy their way out of “sticky” situations that they themselves created.
– Help for those who have suffered severe mental health symptoms as a result of being targeted by a harassing and abusing manager in government. The assistance should include more than just a person sitting in front of you taking notes. The mental health industry is not effective in dealing with the issues around mental health – either they need better training or they simply don’t understand what mental health is.

Wednesday, July 25 at 9:17 pm | Reply

Add a comment

Have your say on this topic! Comments that are thought to be disrespectful or offensive may be removed by our Benefits Canada admins. Thanks!

* These fields are required.
Field required
Field required
Field required