Bill C-65: Prevention is the Key to Success
On January 1, 2021, the federal government’s new Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations came into effect, along with federal harassment and violence prevention legislation under Bill C-65 (Anandan et al., 2020). The new legislation and regulations pertain to federally-regulated employees and alter the existing anti-harassment and violence framework within the Canadian Labour Code (Anandan et al., 2020). Employers covered by this legislation include those in the federally-regulated public sector, private sector employers engaged in federal work or endeavours, and federal Crown corporations (Anandan et al., 2020). The three core pillars of this anti-harassment and violence in the workplace legislation focus on prevention, response, and support.
The prevention pillar of Bill C-65 and the Regulations address the need for policies, procedures and preventative measures to be implemented by all federally-regulated employers (Anandan et al., 2020). Along with an ‘applicable partner’, identified as an employer’s health and safety committee or representative, the employer is responsible for assessing internal and external risk factors contributing to harassment and violence in the workplace and, within 6 months, developing and executing a plan to implement preventative measures (Anandan et al., 2020).
The employer and the applicable partner must also jointly develop and implement a workplace violence and prevention policy for all employees (Anandan et al., 2020). Training is a key element of this policy and employers are required to outline and describe the specific workplace harassment and violence training that will be provided to employees (Anandan et al., 2020). Both the preventative measures implementation plan and the workplace harassment violence and prevention policy must be reviewed and updated (as needed) every 3 years (Anandan et al., 2020).
The Respect in the Workplace program, updated and relaunched in 2019, fulfills and goes beyond the training requirements of Bill-65 and the Regulations. Grounded in a focus on culture change versus check-box compliance, our program helps these policies and training requirements become actionable, while maintaining the safety of the learner. Respect in the Workplace training provides baseline prevention, but also:
- Foundational education on bullying, abuse, harassment, and discrimination, known as BAHD behaviours
- Standards for physical and psychological safety in the workplace
- Plus actionable tools for both employers and employees to prevent and address maltreatment in the workplace, including a risk management section with information on provincial and federal compliance
In addition, our program was updated in September 2020 to expand upon and explore the important issues of systemic racism, microaggressions, and unconscious bias.
We encourage employers to see the requirements of Bill C-65 as an opportunity to be leaders in their field and to show their employees that they care by creating and committing to a culture of respect. For more information, please see these additional resources below:
- Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations Overview
- Safe Workspaces in the Public Service
- Federal government interpretive guidelines on Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations
- Implementing new federal regulations under Bill C-65: Part 1
- Implementing new federal regulations under Bill C-65: Part 2
Anandan, N., O’Ferrall, K., and Hanson, J. (2020, July 21). Part 1 of 2: Less than 6 months for employers to prepare for the new federal regulations on workplace harassment and violence – changes effective January 1, 2021. Osler. Retrieved from https://www.osler.com/en/blogs/risk/july-2020/part-1-of-2-less-than-6-months-for-employers-to-prepare-for-the-new-federal-regulations-on-workplac