Bill C-65 Harassment and Violence Prevention in the Workplace

An amendment to the Canada Labour Code

Bill C-65 has created new obligations for federally regulated employers. SD Law offers a self-paced Webinar entitled "Highlights of Bill C-65" that outlines the changes that employers must become aware of and attend to before December 31st 2021. It is important that employers comply with these new changes to address workplace harassment and violence in their organization. If an employer fails to comply with the Canada Labour Code and the requirements under Bill C-65, they may face fines that accumulate daily for each contravention to a maximum fine of $250,000.00. Employers are required to complete the mandatory changes by December 31st, 2021.

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That being said, SD law is here to help. Please reach out to our team of lawyers for assistance in getting your organization up to speed with the mandatory changes imposed by Bill C-65. The following includes a summary of some of the important changes that employers must implement before December 31st 2021 to be in compliance with Bill C-65 to prevent and respond to workplace harassment and violence in their organizations.

Mandatory Training Requirements: With the implementation of Bill C-65, federally regulated employers are required to train all staff, 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.

Employers can work jointly with the applicable partner (workplace health and safety committee, policy health and safety committee or the health and safety representative) to develop or identify the training on workplace harassment and violence. Employers can satisfy this training requirement by hiring a competent third-party to provide the training to all employees. The training must cover the elements of harassment and violence, human rights protections under the Canadian Human Rights Act, how to recognize, prevent and minimize workplace harassment and violence, crisis prevention, personal safety, de-escalation techniques and how to respond appropriately.

The SD Law self-paced webinar entitled, "Bill C-65 Mandatory Training on Prevention of Harassment & Workplace Violence for Employees covers all the required training (and more) and provides a certificate of completion for each individual employee who completes the course. Having proof of completion may prove valuable to employers if an audit is conducted to ensure mandatory training has been completed. Employers must satisfy all training requirements to avoid costly consequences which can include fines of up to $250,000.

SD Law also offers specific training for employers which is provided in two parts:

  • Bill C-65 Mandatory Training on Prevention of Harassment & Workplace Violence for Employees ; and
  • 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, conducing the 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.

There are strict timelines that must be followed to avoid non-compliance and potential penalties. It is mandatory that training is completed by all employees on or before December 31st, 2021 and for new hires within 3 months of being hired. . Reach out to our knowledgeable team of lawyers to learn about specific timelines that are applicable to your organization.

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. This process also needs to be completed by December 31st to be in compliance with Bill C-65 and avoid costly fines of up to $250,000.00.

At SD Law, we have lawyers who are certified to provide workplace risk assessments or can help guide the 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 within policy that can harm both employees and employers. If a federally regulated employer's policies do not comply with the Canada Labour Code has a whole, and Bill C-65 then an employer can face fines of up to $250,000.00.

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

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.