Bill C-65 to take effect Jan. 1, 2021

Feds reveal regulations around workplace harassment and violence legislation

Bill C-65 to take effect Jan. 1, 2021
The regulations outline the essential elements of a workplace harassment and violence prevention policy.

The federal government has finally announced that the new legislation around anti-harassment and violence is taking effect. Jan. 1, 2021.

The government made the announcement in publishing the Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations for Bill C-65, which was passed back in late 2018.

"Every Canadian has the right to work in a healthy, respectful and safe environment. The government of Canada is committed to ensuring that all federally regulated workplaces, including the public service, are free from harassment and violence of any kind,” says Jean-Yves Duclos, president of the Treasury Board of Canada.

The regulations outline the essential elements of a workplace harassment and violence prevention policy, as well as the procedures that must be in place to respond to incidents of harassment and violence if they do occur.

This includes:

  • timeframes for resolution to better support the complainant and alleged individual
  • confidentiality of all parties involved, including witnesses, throughout the investigation
  • protection for employees victimized by a third party (for example, an employee harassed by a client)
  • the qualifications of a competent person to investigate and provide recommendations
  • employer obligations to implement corrective measures in response to the investigation report of a competent person
  • clearly outlining the existing and new roles of the workplace committee
  • support to be provided for employees who have experienced workplace harassment and violence.

The federal government also announced it is consulting with the provinces and territories on ratifying International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 190 which concerns the elimination of violence and harassment in the world of work. It was adopted by the ILO in June 2019.

Several changes made to the Canada Labour Code took effect in September 2019, including a new leave for victims of family violence of up to 10 days (first five days paid for employees with at least three months of service).

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