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Feds want your thoughts on new workplace harassment laws

Online consultation for proposed bill open until Oct. 5

The federal government has a launched a new process to gather the public’s feedback on new legislation aimed at reducing harassment and violence in the workplace.

The current proposed legislation, Bill C-65, would amend the Canada Labour Code, the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and the Budget Implementation Act, and would create new responsibilities for workplaces in Canada.

The proposed regulations will outline the essential elements of a workplace harassment and violence prevention policy, as well as the procedures required to be in place to respond to incidents of harassment and violence if and when they do occur, including: timeframes, confidentiality, third-party incidents, employer obligations, the role of the workplace committee, and support measures for those who have experienced this behaviour.

The online consultation will be open until Oct. 5 as the government is also working with key sectors and stakeholders through a series of roundtables

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

“Today, I’m proud to take another step in achieving this goal. As we moved 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.”

In 2017, the government held similar consultations about these behaviours in Canadian workplaces, 60 percent of respondents reported having experienced harassment, 30 per cent said that had experienced sexual harassment, 21 per cent reported experiencing violence, and three per cent said they had experienced sexual violence. Along with that, 41 per cent reported that no attempt was made to resolve the incident they reported.

To provide feedback, residents can complete an online survey at https://esdc-consultations.canada.ca/consultation-harassment-violence.