Workplace harassment and violence prevention program: Communication Templates

WARNING

In accordance with National Defence Security Orders and Directives (NDSOD), form File Closure Letter – Informing Principal Party 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.

Instructions

All texts highlighted in yellow with brackets are to indicate required fields prior to signing and sending.

File Closure Letter – Informing Principal Party

Date: [Enter current date]

Dear: [Enter name of principal party]

I first contacted on [Enter date when the principal party was contacted to confirm that the notice of an occurrence was received] concerning a Notice of Occurrence that was received on [Enter date when original notice was received].

Through a collaborative effort and with your agreement, specifically at the [Specify the step – of a negotiated resolution, conciliation, and/or the preventive investigation] stage, the steps taken to respond to the occurrence as per the resolution process are:

  • [Describe the steps taken to respond to the occurrence].

As the resolution process is now complete, your file will be considered closed.

In the event of a new incident related to this file, you may submit a new notice of occurrence. However, I recommend that you include a note informing me that a resolution process had already been completed.

I want to reiterate that privacy and confidentiality must be maintained throughout the entire process including following the resolution of the process. Privacy requirements do not allow information to be disclosed about the occurrence and as such, you are required to keep the information related to this occurrence and the resolution process confidential. Please refrain from disclosing any information related to the occurrence or the resolution process to other colleagues.

Every member of the Defence Team has the right to work in an environment where they are treated with respect, dignity and fairness. It is the responsibility of all involved in this process to ensure no person suffer any prejudice, retaliation, or embarrassment as a result of submitting a Notice of Occurrence. If you experience any of these actions by anyone involved in the process or other colleagues, please inform me immediately.

If you have any questions regarding the conclusion of your file, please contact me immediately to discuss further.

If at any point you require personal support, please contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at: 1-800-663-1142 or 1-888-384-1152 (for people with hearing impairments). CAF members seeking assistance may contact the Member and Family Assistance services at 1-800-268-7708 for confidential counselling service either via telephone or to arrange face-to-face support, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Individuals experiencing personal or work-related problems can receive confidential help through this program. Further, you can access a list of available services at: services and resources (only accessible on the DWAN).

Best regards,

[Enter digital signature once saved as a PDF]

WARNING

In accordance with National Defence Security Orders and Directives (NDSOD), form File Closure Letter – Informing Responding Party 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.

Instructions

All texts highlighted in yellow with brackets are to indicate required fields prior to signing and sending.

File Closure Letter – Informing Responding Party

Date: [Enter current date]

Dear: [Enter name of responding party]

I first contacted you on [Enter date when the responding party first was contacted] concerning a Notice of Occurrence that was received on [Enter date when original notice was received].

As part of the resolution process, specifically at the [Specify the step where responding party was involved– negotiated resolution, conciliation, and/or the preventive investigation] stage, the steps taken to respond to the occurrence are:

  • [Describe the steps taken to respond to the incident after having discussed with the principal party on what measures they agree to be disclosed with the responding party].

As the resolution process is now complete, this file will be considered closed.

I want to reiterate that privacy and confidentiality must be maintained throughout the entire process including following the resolution of the process. Privacy requirements do not allow information to be disclosed about the occurrence and as such, you are required to keep the information related to this occurrence and the resolution process confidential. Please refrain from disclosing any information related to the occurrence or the resolution process to other colleagues.

Every member of the Defence Team has the right to work in an environment where they are treated with respect, dignity, and fairness. It is the responsibility of all involved in this process to ensure no person suffer any prejudice, retaliation, or embarrassment as a result of submitting a Notice of Occurrence. If you experience any of these actions by anyone involved in the process or other colleagues, please inform me immediately.

If you have any questions regarding the conclusion of your file, please contact me immediately to discuss further.

If at any point you require personal support, please contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at: 1-800-663-1142 or 1-888-384-1152 (for people with hearing impairments). CAF members seeking assistance may contact the Member and Family Assistance services at 1-800-268-7708 for confidential counselling service either via telephone or to arrange face-to-face support, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Individuals experiencing personal or work-related problems can receive confidential help through this program. Further, you can access a list of available services at: services and resources (only accessible on the DWAN).

Best regards,

[Enter digital signature once saved as a PDF]

WARNING

In accordance with National Defence Security Orders and Directives (NDSOD), form Monthly Resolution Process Status Update 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.

Instructions

All texts highlighted in yellow with brackets are to indicate required fields prior to signing and sending.

Monthly Resolution Process Status Update

Date: [Enter current date]

Dear: [Enter name of principal party OR if applicable responding party]

This letter serves as an update on the resolution process concerning the notice of an occurrence received on [date original notice was received].

[Currently OR since the last monthly update] we are [give a brief description of the status of the resolution process, e.g., in the process of hiring an investigator, negotiated resolution stage, in conciliation/ADR, still awaiting response from principal party or the responding party, waiting on employer...].

If at any point you require personal support, please contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at: 1-800-663-1142 or 1-888-384-1152 (for people with hearing impairments). CAF members seeking assistance may contact the Member and Family Assistance services at 1-800-268-7708 for confidential counselling service either via telephone or to arrange face-to-face support, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Individuals experiencing personal or work-related problems can receive confidential help through this program. Further, you can access a list of available services at: services and resources (only accessible on the DWAN).

If you believe that you or someone else’s life or physical safety is at risk, please initiate your emergency procedures by calling the Military Police or 9-1-1.

Best regards,

[Enter digital signature once saved as a PDF]

WARNING

In accordance with National Defence Security Orders and Directives (NDSOD), form Response to Principal Party Regarding a Notice of an Occurrence 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.

Instructions

All texts highlighted in yellow with brackets are to indicate required fields prior to signing and sending.

Response to Principal Party Regarding a Notice of an Occurrence

Date: [Enter current date]

Dear: [Enter name of principal party]

This letter confirms receipt of your Notice of Occurrence submitted on the [date received]. I recognize that it takes a lot of courage to submit a notice of occurrence. I will be there to guide you through the process.

OR [For a NOO submitted by witness, remove the paragraph above and keep the following] You have been named as the principal party in a notice submitted by a witness on [date received]. If you want to seek resolution to this occurrence, you have several options available to you for seeking resolution of the occurrence, which includes negotiated resolution, conciliation/ADR and/or a preventive investigation. A detailed description of each step of the resolution process can be found in the Annex to this letter.

During the resolution process you have the right to be represented or accompanied by a colleague, friend, or family member for support. If you would like to exercise this right, please advise me of the name and position of this person.

I recognize that this may be a difficult time for you. If at any point you require personal support, please contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at: 1-800-663-1142 or 1-888-384-1152 (for people with hearing impairments). The EAP offers support and assistance to all employees who are affected by workplace harassment and violence. CAF members seeking assistance may contact the Member and Family Assistance services at 1-800-268-7708 for confidential counselling service either via telephone or to arrange face-to-face support, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Individuals experiencing personal or work-related problems can receive confidential help through this program. Further, you can access a list of available services at: services and resources (only accessible on the DWAN).

The following link provides access to the DND Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Policy Manual. You may also consult this infographic (PDF, 425 KB) and video on the resolution process. The DND Workplace Harassment and Violence in the Prevention Policy Manual is accessible at [insert link].

As a next step, I will schedule an initial meeting to discuss the occurrence with you, facilitate the resolution process outlined in the Canada Labour Code and to discuss any immediate needs. The responding party does not have to be informed of your Notice of Occurrence or be involved in this initial stage.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call, or email me at the number or email address provided below.

Best regards,

[Enter digital signature once saved as a PDF]

Annex Notice of an Occurrence

Privacy and Confidentiality

Privacy and confidentiality must be maintained throughout the entire process. Privacy requirements do not allow information to be disclosed about the occurrence and as such, you are required to keep the information related to this occurrence and the resolution process confidential. Please refrain from disclosing any information related to the occurrence or the resolution process to other colleagues.

To encourage those who are principal parties or witness workplace harassment and violence to come forward, complaints relating to harassment and violence will be handled with utmost sensitivity and discretion. Trust and safety in the process is paramount. As required by the Regulations, organizations must emphasize to investigators that their report must not reveal, directly or indirectly, the identity of parties and witnesses involved in the resolution process. 

It is important that all parties involved respect individuals’ privacy and confidentiality is maintained throughout the entire process. Disclosures of information about the occurrence must be in keeping with the need-to-know principle. Please refrain from sharing any information related to the occurrence or the resolution process with other individuals.

Protecting the full privacy of principal parties, witnesses and responding parties in harassment and violence complaints may not always be possible due to legal obligations—including those respecting access to information and privacy—and natural justice and procedural fairness principles. The employer and/or designated recipient will work closely with the parties to address the occurrence while ensuring that information about the complaint is not disclosed, unless required.

If, at any point in time, there is a breach of confidentiality, please advise me immediately.

Note: If the employer is made aware of breach of conduct the Notice of Occurrence may be shared with labour relations specialist (TBS Directive on the Prevention and Resolution of Workplace Harassment and Violence, para 4.1.10.4).

Enabling a Healthy Work Environment

Both the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and Public Service employees have the right to work in an environment where they are treated with respect, dignity, and fairness. It is the responsibility of all involved in this process to ensure no person suffers any prejudice, retaliation, or embarrassment as a result of submitting a Notice of Occurrence.  If you experience any of these actions by anyone involved in the process or other colleagues, please inform me immediately.

Roles and Responsibilities

Designated Recipient Advisor Principal Party
  • A neutral person designated to respond to notices of occurrences and facilitate the WHVP process as per the regulations.
  • Ensure that the parties involved are aware of their rights and obligations in the resolution process.
  • Ensure all parties involved make every reasonable effort to resolve the NOO as per the process described in the WHVP regulations.
  • Respect the confidentiality of the information shared throughout the resolution process of an occurrence.
  • Provide monthly updates to the principal party and if applicable to the responding party.
  • Facilitate and coordinate all stages of the resolution process (Negotiated Resolution, Conciliation/ADR or Prevention Investigation), depending on what the principal party is seeking.
  • Collaborate, communicate, and engage with the parties involved in the resolution process.
  • Make every reasonable effort to resolve an occurrence of harassment and violence for which a notice of an occurrence is provided.
  • Propose and engage in preventive measures that will respond to occurrences related to workplace harassment and violence.
  • Respect the confidentiality of the information shared throughout the resolution process of an occurrence.
  • Refrain from perpetrating harassment and violence.
  • Refrain from retaliatory behaviour against the responding party, witnesses and any other individuals involved in the resolution process of an occurrence.
Responding Party (if notified) Employer
  • Collaborate, communicate, and engage with the parties involved in the resolution process.
  • Make every reasonable effort to resolve an occurrence of harassment and violence for which a notice of an occurrence is provided (if notified).
  • Engage in preventive measures that will respond to occurrences related to workplace harassment and violence.
  • Respect the confidentiality of the information shared throughout the resolution process of an occurrence.
  • Refrain from perpetrating harassment and violence.
  • Refrain from retaliatory behaviour against the principal party, witnesses and any other individuals involved in the resolution process of an occurrence.
  • Respond to all notices of occurrences received within their area of responsibility.
  • Report the NOO to the WHVP CoE for tracking and for guidance.
  • Collaborate, communicate, and engage with the parties involved in the resolution process.
  • Make every reasonable effort to resolve an occurrence of harassment and violence for which a notice of an occurrence is provided.
  • Establish preventive measures to respond to occurrences related to workplace harassment and violence.
  • Establish procedures to respond to emergencies related to workplace harassment and violence should they arise.
  • Respect and enforce the confidentiality of the information shared throughout the resolution process of an occurrence (as applicable).

Resolution Process Options for the Principal Party

1) Negotiated Resolution – Initial Review and Subsequent Meetings

a. Initial Review

The resolution process begins with an initial meeting or conversation between the principal party and me, as the employer. During the initial meeting the principal party and I will work together to determine whether the occurrence appears to meet the definition of harassment and violence as outlined at subsection 122(1) of the Canada Labour Code. This can go one of three ways:

  • If both the principal party and I agree that the occurrence does not appear to fall under the definition of harassment and violence then the occurrence will be deemed closed. I can provide the principal party with a list of other recourse mechanisms that may be more suited to address the concerns brought forward.
  • If both the principal party and I agree that the occurrence appears to fall under the definition of harassment and violence the principal party can:
    • Continue to work with me to attempt to reach a negotiated resolution and if applicable, the responding party; or
    • Pursue conciliation/ADR with the responding party; and/or
    • Request a prevention investigation which will seek to uncover the root cause regarding what is potentially enabling the occurrence to happen within the workplace and identify possible measures to help prevent future occurrences.
  • If the principal party believes that it does appear to meet the definition and I do not, the principal party still has the right to proceed with the steps mentioned above.
b. Subsequent Meetings

Once the review of the occurrence has been completed to see if it appears to meet the definition of harassment and violence, it is mandated that I facilitate the process to ensure the principal party and I make every attempt to reach a negotiated resolution. The negotiated resolution is an opportunity for the principal party to share their thoughts on what preventive measures can be proposed to resolve the occurrence and foster a safe workplace.

Resolutions are tangible and reasonable measures that can be put into place to resolve and help prevent further occurrences.

What is Negotiated Resolution: What is not Negotiated Resolution:
  • An opportunity to share harassment and or violence experience and impact
  • An opportunity to share tangible measures that can be implemented to resolve and prevent further occurrences.

* See resolution options

  • An opportunity to negotiate a resolution in a unified way
  • An opportunity to respond and prevent harassment and violence in the workplace
  • An opportunity to restore and mend the relationship between parties involved
  • An opportunity to accuse, confront or discipline
  • An opportunity to make a request that does not fall in line with responding or preventing the occurrence

* See resolution options

  • An opportunity to make orders through confrontation
  • An opportunity to resolve other issues Ex: classification issues, collective agreement, lettre of expectations, performance management, etc.
  • An opportunity to make unreasonable requests
Resolution Options:

A resolution is a tangible and reasonable measure that can be implemented by the employer to respond and prevent further occurrences of harassment and violence within the workplace. As harassment and violence are seen as risks to the overall workplace health and safety, resolution options are considered mitigation measures and are implemented to ensure that a principal party feels safe and comfortable in the workplace all whilst preventing occurrences. Therefore, during the negotiated resolution, the principal party and I will negotiate measures to address the occurrence in the workplace.

Below are examples of what are and what are not considered resolutions within the Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations (WHVP):

WHVP Resolution: Is not a WHVP Resolution:

Workplace training regarding:

  • Communication,
  • Conflict resolution,
  • WHVP, etc.

The WHVP Center of Expertise can propose training according to a specific occurrence as well as propose a training plan.

Workplace design:

  • Change office location,
  • Placement of furniture,
  • Access to building, etc.

Administrative practices:

  • Conduct a Workplace Assessment,
  • Implementing stronger internal procedures
  • Clear outline of roles and responsibilities
  • Review of internal procedures, etc.
  • Monetary compensation
  • Vacation days
  • Request that involves prescribed action against the responding party i.e. have the responding party dismissed

* See below note regarding disciplinary/administrative measures

  • If an accommodation is required within the workplace, a request can be initiated through the Office of Disability Management as a separate but parallel process.
  • If the principal party, responding party (if made aware) and the employer come to an agreement through a negotiated resolution then the occurrence is deemed resolved and the file is closed.
  • If appropriate measures have been implemented by the employer to respond and to prevent reoccurrence and the principal party feels these measures are insufficient and does not want to close the file, the principal party will be requested to propose additional resolution options to present to the employer as reasonable effort to resolve the occurrence to their satisfaction. If appropriate tangible measures are not proposed, the file will be deemed resolved and closed.
  • If we are unable to come to an agreement, you have the option of requesting a conciliation/ADR process or a prevention investigation.

    Note that the principal party can request conciliation/ADR and a prevention investigation at the same time. These processes can be conducted in tandem until:

    • Resolution is reached during the requested conciliation/ADR process; or
    • Up until the investigator’s report is completed. The contents of the Notice of Occurrence—or a summary of same will not be shared with anyone except the employer/designated recipient and the parties who are involved with the occurrence. Where applicable, the information will also be shared with the individual appointed to facilitate the conciliation/ADR process, as well as the investigator. The contents of the investigator’s report must not reveal, directly or indirectly, the identity of parties and witnesses involved in the resolution process.

2) Conciliation/Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Conciliation is an informal and confidential process where a neutral person (the practitioner) will help the parties find a satisfactory resolution.

  • Conciliation/ADR of an occurrence of harassment and violence can only proceed if both the principal party and responding party agree to participate and agree on who will facilitate the process. If conciliation/ADR cannot proceed or if it is unsuccessful, the principal party can choose to go back to the negotiated resolution or request a prevention investigation.
  • Conciliation/ADR are generally not recommended for sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual violence and/or family violence.
  • Conciliation/ADR can run parallel to resolution methods, such as negotiated resolution or a prevention investigation.
  • Should the principal party choose to proceed with this resolution process, monthly updates on the status of the conciliation/ADR process will be provided to both the principal party and responding party.
  • If the conciliation/ADR process was successful, the occurrence will be deemed resolved and the case will be closed.

3) Preventive Investigation

The principal party may choose to proceed with a preventive investigation at any point in the resolution process, if all reasonable efforts have been taken to resolve the occurrence during the negotiated resolution process.

  • If the principal party chooses to initiate a prevention investigation, this process will seek to uncover the root cause regarding what is potentially enabling the occurrence to happen within the workplace and identify possible measures to help prevent an occurrence such as this from happening again. Possible recommendations may involve changes to a policy or a specific type of training which employees from the unit or division may be required to complete.
  • All prevention investigation reports are to contain no identifiable information that could possibly expose the identity of any of the parties or witnesses.
  • Once the principal party has informed me that they would like to proceed with a prevention investigation:
    1. I will inform the responding party that they have been named in a notice of occurrence and that a prevention investigation has been requested.
    2. Next, WHVP Center of Expertise will identify via the list of internal qualified persons, a candidate who may act as an investigator. The selection of a person to act as the investigator should be agreed upon by the principal party, the responding party and me (s27(1)(b)(i)).
      • If there is no agreement within 10 days after notice of elected investigator was received, an investigator from the identified list will be chosen by the WHVP Center of Expertise. If no internal investigator is available, due to conflict of interest or a scheduling conflict, a qualified investigator from the National Master Standing Offer (NMSO) or Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) list will be selected as required.
    3. Once an investigator has been chosen or provided, the employer/designated recipient must provide the investigator with all information that is relevant to the investigation such as:
      • Names and contact information of all the parties including witnesses;
      • General description of the notice of occurrence; and
      • Work that has been done to date to resolve the occurrence.
    4. During the investigation process, the principal party and the responding party will be provided with monthly updates by me regarding the status of the investigation process.
    5. Once the investigator has completed the investigation process, they will provide me with the investigation report and recommendations.
    6. I will then provide a copy of the investigator’s report to the principal party, the responding party and the local health and safety committee or health and safety representative.
    7. The workplace committee or the health and safety representative and I will jointly determine which of the recommendations will be implemented from the investigator’s report.
    8. If the supervisor/manager and the health and safety representative cannot agree on which prevention recommendations set out in the investigator’s report should be implemented, then my decision prevails as to which prevention recommendations are appropriate to implement. However, I will have to document the decision and provide justification for that decision.
    9. I will inform the principal party and the responding party of which prevention recommendations will be implemented and by when.
    10. Once the recommendations have been implemented the occurrence is deemed resolved and the file will be closed.
  • The investigation and the recommendations need to be implemented within one year from the day the Notice of Occurrence was submitted. If, for any reason, there is a delay in the process, this information will be shared with both parties and we can negotiate a fair and reasonable expected timeline to close the file.
  • 4) Disciplinary and/or administrative measures

    Perceived reprisal against an employee who has exercised their rights or duties under the WHVP policy, or under the enabling legislation, is unacceptable and incompatible with the DND and CF Code of Values and Ethics. Section 147 of the Canada Labour Code Part II prohibits employers from taking, or threatening to take, any punitive or disciplinary action against employees who have acted in accordance with the Code and the regulations.

    Additionally, the outcome of the prevention investigation cannot be used for any remedial or disciplinary measures.

    To ensure that the well-being of the workplace is restored, in cases that involve potential misconduct, if the employer becomes aware of behaviour or actions that contravene the DND and CF Code of Values and Ethics, or any other applicable policy, administrative or disciplinary measures may be pursued under a separate but parallel recourse mechanism. In cases that involve potential misconduct of a public service employee, a labour relations specialist will be engaged to address the potential misconduct through a separate administrative process.

    WARNING

    In accordance with National Defence Security Orders and Directives (NDSOD), form Response to Responding Party Regarding a Notice of an Occurrence 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.

    Instructions

    All texts highlighted in yellow with brackets are to indicate required fields prior to signing and sending.

    Response to Responding Party Regarding a Notice of an Occurrence

    Date: [Enter date]

    Dear: [Enter name of responding party]

    This is to inform you that a notice of occurrence of alleged harassment and violence has been received on [date received]. You have been named as a responding party, which means the person who is alleged to have been responsible for the occurrence under subsection 15(1) of the Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations.

    [Delete the following part if not appropriate according to the NOO or resolution process]

    The following information contains an overview of the occurrence:

    [Add factual information: who, what, where? Or how the principal party appears to have perceived the occurrence. Add original date of the named occurrence. Do not copy and paste the NOO.]

    As per the Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention (WHVP) regulation, the principal party has a number of options available to them for seeking resolution of the occurrence, which includes: negotiated resolution, conciliation/ADR and/or a preventive investigation. A detailed description of each step of the resolution process can be found in the Annex to this letter.

    Since the submission of the notice of occurrence, I have been facilitating the process as per the regulations. As this process is principal party led, they are now ready to involve you in the [negotiated resolution, conciliation, and or/preventive investigation] process. As a next step, I will schedule a meeting to share with you what the principal party is seeking as a way forward prior to engaging with the principal party.

    During the [negotiated resolution, conciliation, and or/preventive investigation] process, you have the right to be represented or accompanied by a colleague, friend, or family member for support (anyone who is not a party or witness in this process). If you would like to exercise this right, please advise me of the name and position of this person.

    I recognize that this may be a difficult time for you. If at any point you require personal support, please contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at: 1-800-663-1142 or 1-888-384-1152 (for people with hearing impairments). The EAP offers support and assistance to all employees who are affected by workplace harassment and violence. CAF members seeking assistance may contact the Member and Family Assistance services at 1-800-268-7708 for confidential counselling service either via telephone or to arrange face-to-face support, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Individuals experiencing personal or work-related problems can receive confidential help through this program. Further, you can access a list of available services at:  services and resources (only accessible on the DWAN).

    The following link provides access to the Policy Manual and DAOD 5014-0. You may also consult this infographic (PDF, 425 KB) and video on the resolution process.

    Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Policy Manual
    DAOD 5014-0, Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention

    If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call or email me at the number or email address provided below.

    Sincerely,

    [Enter digital signature once saved as a PDF]

    Annex Notice of an Occurrence

    Privacy and Confidentiality

    Privacy and confidentiality must be maintained throughout the entire process. Privacy requirements do not allow information to be disclosed about the occurrence and as such, you are required to keep the information related to this occurrence and the resolution process confidential. Please refrain from disclosing any information related to the occurrence or the resolution process to other colleagues.

    To encourage those who are principal parties or witness workplace harassment and violence to come forward, complaints relating to harassment and violence will be handled with utmost sensitivity and discretion. Trust and safety in the process is paramount. As required by the Regulations, organizations must emphasize to investigators that their report must not reveal, directly or indirectly, the identity of parties and witnesses involved in the resolution process.

    It is important that all parties involved respect individuals’ privacy and confidentiality is maintained throughout the entire process. Disclosures of information about the occurrence must be in keeping with the need to know principle. Please refrain from sharing any information related to the occurrence or the resolution process with other individuals.

    Protecting the full privacy of principal parties, witnesses and responding parties in harassment and violence complaints may not always be possible due to legal obligations—including those respecting access to information and privacy—and natural justice and procedural fairness principles. The employer and/or designated recipient will work closely with the parties to address the occurrence while ensuring that information about the complaint is not disclosed, unless required.

    If, at any point in time, there is a breach of confidentiality, please advise me immediately.

    Note: If the employer is made aware of breach of conduct the Notice of Occurrence may be shared with labour relations specialist (TBS Directive on the Prevention and Resolution of Workplace Harassment and Violence, para 4.1.10.4).

    Enabling a Healthy Work Environment

    Both the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and Public Service employees have the right to work in an environment where they are treated with respect, dignity and fairness. It is the responsibility of all involved in this process to ensure no person suffers any prejudice, retaliation, or embarrassment as a result of submitting a Notice of Occurrence (NOO). If you experience any of these actions by anyone involved in the process or other colleagues, please inform me immediately.

    Roles and Responsibilities

    Designated Recipient Advisor (DRA) Principal Party (PP)
    • A neutral person designated to respond to notices of occurrences and facilitate the WHVP process as per the regulations.
    • Ensure that the parties involved are aware of their rights and obligations in the resolution process
    • Ensure all parties involved make every reasonable effort to resolve the NOO as per the process described in the WHVP regulations.
    • Respect the confidentiality of the information shared throughout the resolution process of an occurrence.
    • Provide monthly updates to the principal party and if applicable to the responding party.
    • Facilitate and coordinate all stages of the resolution process (Negotiated Resolution, ADR/Conciliation or Prevention Investigation), depending on what the principal party is seeking.
    • Collaborate, communicate and engage with the parties involved in the resolution process. 
    • Make every reasonable effort to resolve an occurrence of harassment and violence for which a notice of an occurrence is provided.
    • Propose and engage in preventive measures that will respond to occurrences related to workplace harassment and violence.
    • Respect the confidentiality of the information shared throughout the resolution process of an occurrence.
    • Refrain from perpetrating harassment and violence.
    • Refrain from retaliatory behaviour against the responding party, witnesses and any other individuals involved in the resolution process of an occurrence.
    Responding Party (RP) (if notified) Employer
    • Collaborate, communicate and engage with the parties involved in the resolution process. 
    • Make every reasonable effort to resolve an occurrence of harassment and violence for which a notice of an occurrence is provided (if notified).
    • Engage in preventive measures that will respond to occurrences related to workplace harassment and violence.
    • Respect the confidentiality of the information shared throughout the resolution process of an occurrence.
    • Refrain from perpetrating harassment and violence.
    • Refrain from retaliatory behaviour against the principal party, witnesses and any other individuals involved in the resolution process of an occurrence.
    • Respond to all notices of occurrences received within their area of responsibility.
    • Report the NOO to the WHVP CoE for tracking and for guidance.
    • Collaborate, communicate and engage with the parties involved in the resolution process. 
    • Make every reasonable effort to resolve an occurrence of harassment and violence for which a notice of an occurrence is provided.
    • Establish preventive measures to respond to occurrences related to workplace harassment and violence.
    • Establish procedures to respond to emergencies related to workplace harassment and violence should they arise.
    • Respect and enforce the confidentiality of the information shared throughout the resolution process of an occurrence (as applicable).

    Resolution Process Options for the Principal Party

    1) Negotiated Resolution – Initial Review and Subsequent Meetings

    a. Initial Review

    The resolution process begins with an initial meeting or conversation between the principal party and myself, as the employer. During the initial meeting the principal party and I will work together to determine whether the occurrence appears to meet the definition of harassment and violence as outlined at subsection 122(1) of the Canada Labour Code. This can go one of three ways:

    • If both the principal party and I agree that the occurrence does not appear to fall under the definition of harassment and violence then the occurrence will be deemed closed. I can provide the principal party with a list of other recourse mechanisms that may be more suited to address concerns brought forward.
    • If both the principal party and myself agree that the occurrence appears to fall under the definition of harassment and violence the principal party can:
      • Continue to work with the me to attempt to reach a negotiated resolution and if applicable the responding party; or
      • Pursue conciliation/Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) with the responding party; and/or
      • Request a prevention investigation which will seek to uncover the root cause regarding what is potentially enabling the occurrence to happen within the workplace and identify possible measures to help prevent future occurrences.
    • If the principal party believes that it does appear to meet the definition and I do not, the principal party still has the right to proceed with the steps mentioned above.
    b. Subsequent Meetings

    Once the review of the occurrence has been completed to see if it appears to meet the definition of harassment and violence, it is mandated that I facilitate the process to ensure the principal party and myself make every attempt to reach a negotiated resolution. The negotiated resolution is an opportunity for the principal party to share their thoughts on what preventive measures can be proposed to resolve the occurrence and foster a safe workplace.

    Resolutions are tangible and reasonable measures that can be put into place to resolve and help prevent further occurrences.

    What is Negotiated Resolution: What is not Negotiated Resolution:
    • An opportunity to share harassment and or violence experience and impact
    • An opportunity to share tangible measures that can be implemented to resolve and prevent further occurrences

    * see resolution options

    • An opportunity to negotiate a resolution in a unified way
    • An opportunity to respond and prevent harassment and violence in the workplace
    • An opportunity to restore and mend the relationship between parties involved
    • An opportunity to accuse, confront or discipline
    • An opportunity to make a request that does not fall in line with responding or preventing the occurrence

    * see resolution options

    • An opportunity to make orders through confrontation
    • An opportunity to resolve other issues
      Ex: classification issues, collective agreement, lettre of expectations, performance management, etc.
    • An opportunity to make unreasonable requests

    Resolution options:

    A resolution is a tangible and reasonable measure that can be implemented by the employer to respond and prevent further occurrences of harassment and violence within the workplace. As harassment and violence are seen as risks to the overall workplace health and safety, resolution options are considered mitigation measures and are implemented to ensure that a principal party feels safe and comfortable in the workplace all whilst preventing occurrences. Therefore, during the negotiated resolution, the principal party and I will negotiate measures to address the occurrence in the workplace.

    Below are examples of what are and what are not considered resolutions within the Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations (WHVP):

    What is a WHVP Resolution: What is not a WHVP Resolution:

    Workplace training regarding:

    • Communication
    • Conflict resolution
    • WHVP, etc.

    The WHVP Center of Expertise can propose training according to a specific occurrence as well as propose a training plan.

    Workplace design:

    • Change office location
    • Placement of furniture
    • Access to building, etc.

    Administrative practices:

    • Conduct a Workplace Assessment
    • Implementing stronger internal procedures
    • Clear outline of roles and responsibilities
    • Review of internal procedures, etc.
    • Monetary compensation
    • Vacation days
    • Request that involves prescribed action against the responding party i.e. have the responding party dismissed

    * See below note regarding disciplinary/administrative measures

    • If an accommodation is required within the workplace, a request can be initiated through the Office of Disability Management as a separate but parallel process.
    • If the principal party comes to an agreement with the employer (and the responding party, if included in these meetings) through a negotiated resolution then the occurrence is deemed resolved and the file is closed.
    • If appropriate measures have been implemented by the employer to respond and to prevent reoccurrence and the principal party feels these measures are insufficient and does not want to close the file, the principal party will be requested to propose additional resolution options to present to the employer as reasonable effort to resolve the occurrence to their satisfaction. If appropriate tangible measures are not proposed, the file will be deemed resolved and closed.
    • If the principal party and the employer (and responding party, if included in these meetings) are unable to come to an agreement, the principal party has the option of requesting a Conciliation/ADR process or a prevention investigation.

      Note that the principal party can request conciliation/ADR a prevention investigation at the same time. These processes can be conducted in tandem until:

      • Resolution is reached during the requested Conciliation/ADR process; or
      • Up until the investigator shares the report with me. The contents of the Notice of Occurrence—or a summary of same—will not be shared with anyone except the employer/designated recipient and the parties who are involved with the occurrence. Where applicable, the information will also be shared with the individual appointed to facilitate the conciliation/ADR process, as well as the investigator. The contents of the investigator’s report must not reveal, directly or indirectly, the identity of parties and witnesses involved in the resolution process.

    2) Conciliation/Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

    Conciliation is considered to be an informal and confidential process where a neutral person (the practitioner) will help the parties find a satisfactory resolution.

    • Conciliation/ADR of an occurrence of harassment and violence can only proceed if both the principal party and responding party agree to participate and agree on who will facilitate the process. If conciliation/ADR cannot proceed or if it is unsuccessful, the principal party can choose to go back to the negotiated resolution or request a prevention investigation.
    • Conciliation/ADR are generally not recommended for sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual violence and/or family violence.
    • Conciliation/ADR can run parallel to resolution methods, such as negotiated resolution or a prevention investigation.
    • Should the principal party choose to proceed with this resolution process, monthly updates on the status of the Conciliation/ADR process will be provided to both the principal party and responding party.
    • If the conciliation/ADR process was successful, the occurrence will be deemed resolved and the case will be closed.

    3) Preventive Investigation

    The principal party may choose to proceed with a preventive investigation at any point in the resolution process, if all reasonable efforts have been taken to resolve the occurrence during the negotiated resolution process.

    • If the principal party chooses to initiate a prevention investigation, this process will seek to uncover the root cause regarding what is potentially enabling the occurrence to happen within the workplace and identify possible measures to help prevent an occurrence such as this from happening again. Possible recommendations may involve changes to a policy or a specific type of training which employees from the unit or division may be required to complete.
    • All prevention investigation reports are to contain no identifiable information that could possibly expose the identity of any of the parties or witnesses.
    • Once the principal party has informed me that they would like to proceed with a prevention investigation:
      1. I will inform the responding party that they have been named in a notice of occurrence and that a prevention investigation has been requested.
      2. Next, WHVP Center of Expertise will identify via the list of internal qualified persons, a candidate who may act as an investigator. The selection of a person to act as the investigator should be agreed upon by the principal party, the responding party and myself (s27(1)(b)(i)).
        • If there is no agreement within 10 days after notice of elected investigator was received, an investigator from the identified list will be chosen by the WHVP Center of Expertise. If no internal investigator is available, due to conflict of interest of scheduling, a qualified investigator from the National Master Standing Offer (NMSO) or Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) list will be selected as required.
      3. Once an investigator has been chosen or provided, the employer/designated recipient must provide the investigator with all information that is relevant to the investigation, such as:
        • Names and contact information of all the parties including witnesses
        • General description of the notice of occurrence
        • Work that has been done to date to resolve the occurrence
      4. During the investigation process, the principal party and the responding party will be provided with monthly updates by me regarding the status of the investigation process.
      5. Once the investigator has completed the investigation process, they will provide me with the investigation report and recommendations.
      6. I will then provide a copy of the investigator’s report to the principal party, the responding party and the local health and safety committee or health and safety representative.
      7. The work place committee or the health and safety representative and I will jointly determine which of the recommendations will be implemented from the investigator’s report.
      8. If the supervisor/manager and the health and safety representative cannot agree on which prevention recommendations set out in the investigator’s report should be implemented, then my decision prevails as to which prevention recommendations are appropriate to implement. However, I will have to document the decision and provide justification for that decision.
      9. I will inform the principal party and the responding party of which prevention recommendations will be implemented and by when.
      10. Once the recommendations have been implemented the occurrence is deemed resolved and the file will be closed.
    • The investigation and the recommendations need to be implemented within one year from the day the Notice of Occurrence was submitted. If, for any reason, there is a delay in the process, this information will be shared with both parties and we can negotiate a fair and reasonable expected timeline to close the file.

    4) Disciplinary and/or administrative measures

    Perceived reprisal against an employee who has exercised their rights or duties under the WHVP policy, or under the enabling legislation, is unacceptable and incompatible with the DND and CF Code of Values and Ethics. Section 147 of the Canada Labour Code Part II prohibits employers from taking, or threatening to take, any punitive or disciplinary action against employees who have acted in accordance with the Code and the regulations.

    Additionally, the outcome of the prevention investigation cannot be used for any remedial or disciplinary measures.

    To ensure that the well-being of the workplace is restored, in cases that involve potential misconduct, if the employer becomes aware of behaviours or actions that contravene the DND and CF Code of Values and Ethics, or any other applicable policy, administrative or disciplinary measures may be pursued under a separate but parallel recourse mechanism. In cases that involve potential misconduct of a public service employee, a labour relations specialist will be engaged to address the potential misconduct through a separate administrative process.

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