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Bill C-65 Harassment and Violence Prevention in the Workplace: Training, Risk Assessment, and Policies

Bill C-65 is a new federal legislation that establishes obligations for federally regulated employers regarding the prevention of violence and harassment. Bill C-65 came into effect at the beginning of 2021. An amendment to the Health and Safety provision of the Canada Labour Code, Bill C-65, aims to strengthen the harassment and violence prevention protocols to create a safe environment for all workers and to provide a clear resolution process for occurrences that do arise. As a supervisor, manager, or employee, you are expected to do what is necessary and comply with Bill C-65 regarding the prevention of violence and harassment in the workplace. Governing bodies—and your employees—expect you to lead by example.

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One of the proactive measures required under the new Bill C-65 is a prevention policy. Are you looking to modify your workplace’s policies while further familiarizing yourself with the latest amendments to the Canada Labour Code? If so, we invite you to contact us. Our experienced law firm has helped countless workplaces and organizations refine their practices and policies, and we are eager to help you.

Schedule a consultation by calling 705-268-6492 at your convenience. Together we will transform your workplace for the better

Bill C-65 and Human Resources Training

Every employer wants to do their part in making their workplace as safe as possible. They want their employees to feel comfortable approaching them, their superiors, or the Human Resources department with their concerns and complaints-and they want to make sure all managerial leaders know how to respond to such complaints.

Businesses and organizations throughout our area continue to come to us when they want to familiarize themselves with these crucial amendments to the Health and Safety provision of the Canada Labour Code-and with good reason. We are the employment lawyers to call when it comes to the crafting of workplace policies and the facilitation of training seminars.

Bill C-65: What to Know

Incidents of harassment and violence in the workplace are often unreported or unresolved. This can be attributable to a lack of a clear reporting and/or resolution process, or a failure on behalf of employers to properly investigate and provide resolutions for affected employees. In an effort to address these concerns, Bill C-65 creates obligations for federal organizations to actively address harassment and violence within their workplaces.

Bill C-65 has amended the Health and Safety provisions in the Canada Labour Code and now requires that all federal employers ensure ALL their employees are trained according to the regulations under the Act dealing with Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention in the workplace. Bill C-65 also provides that a workplace risk assessment must be completed, that a prevention policy is put in place based on the results of the workplace risk assessment and that a resolution process is properly followed. These obligations are mandatory and were to have been completed by December 31st, 2021. If an organization is found to not be complying with their obligations, then the organization may face fines that accumulate daily up to a maximum of $250,000.00.

There are specific requirements included in each of these four obligations that must be adhered to. At Suzanne Desrosiers Professional Corporation, our team of lawyers are very knowledgeable in this area and are able to assist you in all things related to Bill C-65.

With the implementation of Bill C-65, federally regulated employers are required to train ALL staff, supervisors including management and the designated recipient on workplace harassment and violence prevention and response in the workplace. This mandatory training must be provided by a competent individual or service and must meet a series of criteria listed in the regulations. Our training at SDLaw meets all of these requirements and more.

Here to Help

The finer points of Canadian employment law are difficult for even the most engaged employers to understand. Thankfully, our legal firm is always within reach. Never hesitate to bring us your questions and concerns. We are here to help you in ways big and small.

Suzanne Desrosiers Professional Corporation offers online, self-paced webinars through the SDLaw e-Learning & Training Centre.

We understand that you maintain a busy schedule. It can be hard to find time for seminars and training modules when overseeing an entire business or organization. That is why we offer self-directed and easily accessible webinars on Bill C-65 and we divided in lessons of 30-40 minutes each so that if you complete a lesson and return for the other lesson whenever it is convenient for you. Our self-paced webinars make the learning process all the more straightforward for busy clients such as yourself.

Some of what you can access through these webinars include:

1) Bill C-65 Mandatory Training on Prevention of Harassment & Workplace Violence for Employees

2) Bill C-65 & Supervisor's Training on Prevention of Harassment and Violence in the Workplace

3) Bill C-65 Employer Compliance Training - A Practical Look to Harassment & Workplace Violence, prevention, response and resolution (for Upper Management)

These cover all the required training (and more) and provides a certificate of completion for each individual who completes the course. Having proof of completion may prove valuable to employers when an audit is conducted to ensure the mandatory training has been completed.

Crafting Your Workplace Harassment Policy

As unpleasant as it might be to think of hypothetical incidences of workplace harassment and violence, drafting policies is an essential preventative and protective measure. Every workplace needs understandable and code-compliant policies. We are here to help you draft these policies.

Do you need to create a harassment and violence mission statement? We can help you with this and more. Some of what we assist with during this process include:

  • Summary of the complaint resolution process
  • Outline of workplace risk factors
  • Summary of emergency procedures
  • Privacy statement
  • Outline of resources available to employees in the event of harassment and violence
  • And more

The Bill C-65 Employer Compliance Training - A Practical Look to Harassment & Workplace Violence, prevention, response and resolution is training specific for Upper Managment provided in two parts, within one course:

Bill C-65 Mandatory Training on Harassment & Workplace Violence prevention for Employees

Bill C-65 Training on Harassment and Workplace violence prevention geared to Upper Management includes comprehensive step-by-step checklists and explanations to practically assist employers as they take the necessary steps to comply with all aspects of Bill C-65 including, but not limited to, training employees, conducting workplace risk assessments, selecting a designated recipient, responding to notices of occurrences, providing assistance with the resolution process from conciliation and investigations, and addressing policy updates, etc.

Mandatory Workplace Risk Assessments: To be in compliance with Bill C-65, it is necessary to conduct a workplace risk assessment which will determine both the internal and external risk factors that may contribute to workplace harassment and violence specifically in your organization. Within six (6) months of the risk factors being identified, it is the employer's responsibility to implement recommendations to lower the risk of harassment and violence in your workplace where possible. At Suzanne Desrosiers Professional Corporation, we have lawyers who are certified to provide workplace risk assessments or who can help guide employers through conducting their own assessment. Please contact us if you require assistance or have questions regarding workplace risk assessments.

Mandatory Prevention Policy: All federally regulated workplaces are required to implement a new Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Policy that complies with Bill C-65. Bill C-65 outlines a list of the required content that makes for a very comprehensive policy. It is wise to consult an employment lawyer when drafting or amending policies generally, and specifically with regards to Bill C-65. If an organization does not get legal advice in this process, it can lead to very costly mistakes with a policy that can harm both employees and employers. If a federally regulated employer's policies do not comply with the Canada Labour Code as a whole and Bill C-65, then an employer can face fines of up to $250,000.00.

At Suzanne Desrosiers Professional Corporation, our lawyers have experience drafting, reviewing and amending workplace policies as well as harassment and violence prevention polices and are available to assist you.

Resolution Process: The new amendments to the Health and Safety provision of the Canada Labour Code require that an employer follow a specific resolution process in the event that harassment and violence occurs within an organization. A designated recipient is required to be selected so that employees have a clear avenue to report any issues. Our lawyers at Suzanne Desrosiers Professional Corporation can provide assistance and guidance through the resolution process to ensure that an organization is in compliance with the applicable law and regulations in this regard.

Learn About Bill C-65 Today

It is important that employers provide safe workplaces that are free from harassment and violence; Bill-C65 provides the proactive and reactive measures to best prepare employers to do so. Reach out to our firm today at 705-268-6492 or by email at info@sdlawtimmins.com

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To learn more about workplace risk assessments, read our blog Workplace Risk Assessments as Required by Bill C-65

For general information on Bill C-65, click here to review How Bill C-65 Creates Changes to Your Workplace.