Just a few months ago in August we informed you that Royal Assent was granted to Bill C-44, the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1, making significant changes to the Canada Labour Code (“Code”). Now more changes are coming!
Earlier this month, Bill C-65, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (harassment and violence), the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1 was introduced to strengthen the existing framework for the prevention of harassment and violence, including sexual harassment and sexual violence, in the workplace.
Some of the more noteworthy amendments to PART II Occupational Health and Safety of the Code are:
- A specific reference to physical or psychological injuries and illnesses when defining the purpose of Part II;
- Employers will be required to investigate, record and report (in accordance with regulations that have yet to be drafted), all accidents, occurrences of harassment or violence, occupational illnesses and other hazardous occurrences known to the employer;
- Employers will have a duty to take prescribed measures (in accordance with regulations that have yet to be drafted) to prevent and protect against harassment and violence in the workplace, respond to occurrences of harassment and violence in the workplace and offer support to employees affected by harassment and violence in the workplace;
- The employee may refer an unresolved complaint directly to the Minister. The Minster will be obligated to investigate unless the Minister feels as though the complaint has been adequately dealt with or if the matter is trivial, frivolous or vexatious; and
- The employer is not permitted to provide any information to a policy committee or a workplace committee that is likely to reveal the identity of a person who was involved in an occurrence of harassment or violence in the work place, without the person’s consent.
Please keep in mind that these amendments will only apply to federally regulated employers.
Stay tuned for the next e2r alert that will provide further information on more upcoming changes to the Code!
In the meantime, please feel free to contact e2r® to speak with an Advisor if you have any questions regarding how these changes will impact your workplace.