Family Violence: Supervisor’s Guide

Workplace Harassment and Violence – Version 1 – March 2022


To strengthen the policies that keep our Defence Team members safe, the Work Place Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations (WHVPR), under the Canada Labour Code (CLC) Part II, came into effect on January 1, 2021. The new standalone Regulations replace the existing Prevention of Violence framework outlined in the Canada Occupational Health and Safety (COHS) Regulations.

The new Regulations focus heavily on prevention. The Defence Team is committed to promoting a workplace that is physically and psychologically safe and free from harassment and violence, including family violence.

Prevention Measures

Steps for Responding to Family Violence in the Workplace

The following steps briefly summarize the process supervisors should follow when dealing with cases of family violence in the workplace. Please be advised that your role as a supervisor is to ensure workplace safety. Therefore, it is essential that you refer the Defence Team member(s) experiencing family violence to the appropriate family violence resources where in-depth and long-term support can be provided. Should you require additional guidance please contact the WHVP CoE.

Responding to a disclosure of family violence in the workplace

Step 1: Ensure the Defence Team member’s safety

Step 2: Provide empathetic and non-judgmental support

Step 3: Explain your role and establish a safety plan

Step 4: Verify if…

Confidentiality and its Limitations

In order for consent to be considered valid or meaningful, we must inform individuals of their privacy practices in a comprehensive and understandable manner and the following elements should be disclosed:

Warning Signs of Family Violence

- Productivity Social Behaviours Escalation
The Victim Difficulty concentrating Behaves differently Tries to hide bruises or scrapes
Often arrives late Seems withdrawn or isolated Receives unexpected visits from the actor of violence in the workplace
Absent more often Reduces participation in social activities Shows nervousness when actor of violence shows up at work
Has a loss in productivity Last minute cancellations Is followed by the actor of violence  to and from work
Receives frequent calls or emails from the actor of violence Uses drugs and/or alcohol as a coping mechanism Shows signs of strangulations
Reacts strongly and/or reluctant to answer calls and text messages Apologizes for or justifies actor of violence’s behaviours Seems agitated or irritated by calls from the actor of violence

Support Resources

Don’t know where to start? Consult the Resource Catalogue (accessible only on the National Defence network).

Leave Resources

Individualized Family Violence Safety Plan


This Individualized Family Violence Safety Plan is a template for managers/supervisors to use with Defence Team members who have disclosed that they are experiencing family violence. This form provides guidelines and considerations when ensuring the safety of the Defence Team member as well as other personnel. It should be completed with the victimized Defence Team member.

Once completed, the form is considered Protected B. A copy must accessible to the employer and the victimized Defence Team member. If the form is provided via email, the email must be encrypted and the “Subject” of email should be changed to an agreed upon title, in the event the actor of violence accesses emails.

Under “Action Plan” insert the agreed upon actions and measures. The measures are determined on a case-by-case basis. The action plan will allow you to keep record of implemented measures and can be adjusted should the situation evolve.

Should you require additional guidance on the use of this form contact the WHVP CoE.


In accordance with National Defence Security Orders and Directives (NDSOD), the Individualized Family Violence Safety Plan is "Protected B" information once completed. 

Completed "Protected B" forms MUST NOT BE SAVED UNENCRYPTED on any network and workstation drive or storage media. "Protected B" forms, when completed, MUST BE ENCRYPTED USING THE DND ISSUED PKI SMARTCARD. Failure to respect this requirement will result in a breach of security and administrative measures shall be applied in accordance with the policy.

Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention for the Defence Team

Individualized Family Violence Safety Plan – Guidelines and Action Plan

Physical workplace safety and security

E-mail, telephone and social networking safety and security

Employee leave

Response system for work absences

Potential for violence in the workplace

Safety and security outside the workplace

Review of individualized safety plan

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