Federal anti-harassment and violence legislation receives Royal Assent
October 25, 2018 Gatineau, Quebec Employment and Social Development Canada
All Canadians deserve a workplace that is free of harassment and violence and where unacceptable behaviour is no longer tolerated. That’s why the Government of Canada took action by introducing Bill C-65, which will protect employees from harassment and violence in federal workplaces, including the federally regulated private sector, the federal public service and parliamentary workplaces.
Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced that this historic piece of legislation received Royal Assent. This milestone was reached quickly thanks to continued support from all parties, as well as the dedication of committee members and Senators who helped strengthen the Bill through a number of important amendments.
There are three main elements to Bill C-65: the prevention of incidents, a timely and effective response to incidents, and support for affected employees. Regulations will be introduced in the near future and federally regulated workplaces will need to comply with the changes introduced through Bill C-65 as early as spring 2019.
“We know that legislation alone can’t fix this problem. We need a culture shift to put an end to workplace harassment and violence. The fact that Bill C-65 received support from all parties and moved so quickly demonstrates just how far we’ve come and how serious we are about taking action against these unacceptable behaviours. Today, we’re sending a strong message to Canadians: we hear you, we support you, and we will not allow workplace harassment or violence of any kind to be tolerated in our federally regulated workplaces.”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
Bill C-65 aims to strengthen provisions in the Canada Labour Code by putting into place one comprehensive approach that takes the full spectrum of harassment and violence into consideration. It would also expand the coverage to parliamentary workplaces, including staff of Parliament Hill. The new framework will require employers to:
- PREVENT incidents of harassment and violence;|
- RESPOND effectively to these incidents if and when they do occur; and
- SUPPORT affected employees
Bill C-65 defines harassment and violence as any action, conduct or comment, including of a sexual nature, which can reasonably be expected to cause offence, humiliation or other physical or psychological injury or illness to an employee, including any prescribed action, conduct or comment.
The Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour is mandated by the Prime Minister to work with the Minister of Status of Women and other ministerial colleagues to ensure that federal workplaces are free from harassment and sexual violence. The Leader of the Government in the House of Commons is mandated by the Prime Minister to take action to ensure that Parliament is a workplace free from harassment and sexual violence.
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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