2021 annual report – Taking action against harassment and violence in work places under Canadian federal jurisdiction

On this page

Alternate formats

2021 annual report – Taking action against harassment and violence in work places under Canadian federal jurisdiction [PDF - 1.23 MB]

Large print, braille, MP3 (audio), e-text and DAISY formats are available on demand by ordering online or calling 1 800 O-Canada (1-800-622-6232). If you use a teletypewriter (TTY), call 1-800-926-9105.

List of abbreviations

AIRT
Air Transportation
BANK
Banking and Banks
BRID
Interprovincial Infrastructure (Bridges, Tunnels, Canals, and Causeways)
BROAD
Broadcasting (Television, Radio, and Internet)
COMM
Communications
EAHOR
Employer's Annual Hazardous Occurrence Report
EAHVOR
Employer's Annual Harassment and Violence Occurrence Report
ENER
Energy, Mining and Mineral Processing
FEED
Feed, Flour and Seed
GRAIN
Grain Handling and Grain Elevators
HV
Harassment and violence
INDG
First Nations, Band Councils, and Indigenous Self-Governments (certain activities)
LONG
Longshoring, Stevedoring, Port, Harbour Operations and Pilotage
PIPE
Pipeline Transportation
POST
Postal Services and Postal Contractors
PUBS
Federal Public Services, Public Service Departments and Crown Corporations
RAIL
Rail Transportation
ROAD
Road Transportation
WATER
Water Transportation (Shipping and Ferries)
WHVPF
Work Place Harassment and Violence Prevention Fund

List of charts

The List of terms (Annex 1) provides definitions of relevant terms used in this publication.

Minister’s message

No one should face violence and harassment on the job. Feeding your family should never come at a cost to your safety, your health, or your dignity.

The Government of Canada must set the example as an employer. We made a commitment to prevent harassment and violence in federally regulated workplaces – and be transparent about any failures to do so – when we implemented harassment and violence prevention measures in Bill C-65.

The 2021 Annual Report – Taking Action Against Harassment and Violence in Work Places under Canadian Federal Jurisdiction is an important part of this work. Information is critical. You cannot solve a problem that you do not confront.

This report covers harassment and violence that is formally reported to employers. Not all victims choose to come forward, sometimes for fear of consequences. This is part of the work still to do. Employees must feel safe to speak up when they experience or witness violence and harassment.

Along with passing Bill C-65 in 2021, Canada ratified the International Labour Organization Convention 190, the Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019, in January 2023. C190 is the first-ever global treaty on ending violence and harassment in the workplace, and provides a clear framework to prohibit, prevent, and address violence and harassment at work. C190 applies across both federal and provincial jurisdictions across Canada.

Governments cannot tackle this issue alone. Employers and labour have a role to play in promoting safe, healthy, and respectful work environments for all employees. A lot more needs to be done, whether it be through training programs or efforts to eliminate the stigma that prevents workers from speaking up.

The Government of Canada will keep working with employers and labour to confront, prevent, and eradicate violence and harassment in the workplace.

Minister of Labour
Seamus O’Regan Jr.

Introduction

Bill C-65, an act to amend the Canada Labour Code (the Code), improved provisions on work place harassment and violence. It received Royal Assent in October 2018. After Royal Assent, regulations were developed to strengthen the existing framework for harassment and violence prevention, focusing on sexual harassment and sexual violence as well as discrimination in federally regulated industries and work places.Footnote 1

In addition to updating the definition of harassment and violence in the Code, the regulations outline the elements of a work place 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.

These procedures are to include:

  • timeframes for resolution
  • assurance of confidentiality for all parties involved, including witnesses throughout the investigation
  • protection for employees victimized by a third party (for example, an employee harassed by a client)
  • qualifications of the “competent person” who is to investigate and provide recommendations
  • employer obligations to implement corrective measures in response to the investigation report
  • following existing and new roles of the work place committee, and
  • supporting employees who have experienced work place harassment and violence

Several rounds of consultation took place during the development of the legislation and the regulations. The consultations confirmed the need to act. Canadians indicated that incidents of harassment and violence (including sexual harassment and violence) in the work place are not only underreported, but also that they are often dealt with ineffectively when they are reported. A report outlining the results of these consultations was produced summarizing the issues participants raised and the experiences they recounted concerning harassment and violence in their work places.

The feedback received during these consultations informed the Work Place Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations, which were published in Part II of the Canada Gazette on June 24, 2020 and came into force on January 1, 2021.

These regulations strengthened the provisions in the Canada Labour Code by implementing a comprehensive approach that considers the full spectrum of harassment and violence. It also expanded the coverage to parliamentary work places, including staff of Parliament Hill.

Responding to incidents of work place harassment and violence – Reporting requirements

With the coming into force of the regulations on January 1, 2021, employers working in a federally regulated industry or work place are required to submit an Employer’s Annual Harassment and Violence Report (EAHVOR) to the Labour Program by March 1 each year.

Additionally, the Minister is required to prepare and publish an annual report related to harassment and violence within federally regulated work places. Every 5 years, a review of the provisions of Part II of the Canada Labour Code related to harassment and violence will occur and will provide an opportunity for the Minister to:

  • evaluate the success of the regime
  • identify any potential changes that are needed for improvement

The annual report and 5-year review provide the opportunity to monitor progress and adjust the harassment and violence prevention regime to better equip employers with the information and tools they need to establish a successful work place harassment and violence prevention policy.

Analysis of harassment and violence occurrences in the federal jurisdiction

In this section:

About the data

The information presented below is based on data collected in the EAHVORs submitted to the Labour Program in 2022, covering harassment and violence occurrences reported to employers under federal jurisdiction throughout the 2021 calendar year. This is the first year of analysis and future reports will expand on this analysis.

EAHVORs must include the following information relating to occurrences of harassment and violence:

  • the total number of occurrences reported to the employer, as well as whether or not the occurrence was sexual in nature
  • the total number of occurrences that resulted in the death of an employee
  • the final method of resolution used by an employer to resolve an occurrence
  • the relationship between all parties involved in an occurrence
  • the number of occurrences that fell under each prohibited ground of discrimination set out in subsection 3(1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act
  • the location where the occurrence took place
  • the average number of months taken to complete the resolution process

For the 2021 reporting year, the Labour Program received 4,503 EAHVOR submissions representing about 1.1 million full-time equivalent employees (FTEs). Of these submissions, 501 (11.1%) reported at least 1 harassment and violence occurrence. Over 80% of all occurrences were reported by 104 employers (about 2.3% of employers who submitted a report).

It is important to note that the data and related analysis presented in this report cover only the harassment and violence occurrences for which a notice of occurrence was provided to the employer (designated recipient) under subsection 15(1) of the Work Place Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations and, in turn, reported by employers to the Labour Program on the EAHVOR. The number of harassment and violence occurrences are to be interpreted within this context of data collection, since they may differ from those collected from anonymous employee surveys.

Information on FTEs is used to estimate the size of employers who submitted the EAHVOR.

Section 1: In which federally regulated industry sectors are harassment and violence occurrences being reported?

Industry sector analysis

The section below presents an analysis of harassment and violence occurrences reported to the Labour Program by federally regulated employers.

The total number of harassment and violence occurrences reported in 2021 was 4,950. This represents all occurrences reported by 501 employers from federally regulated industry sectors out of a total of 4,503 EAHVOR submissions. There were no fatalities related to harassment and violence reported to the Labour Program on the EAHVOR. 3,777 occurrences (76.3%) of harassment and violence occurrences reported in 2021 came from the following industry sectors:

  • Federal Public Services, Public Service Departments and Crown Corporations (PUBS)
  • Banking and Banks (BANK)
  • Road Transportation (ROAD)
  • Air Transportation (AIRT)
  • Postal Services and Postal Contractors (POST)

It is worth noting that these 5 industries are amongst the largest federally regulated employers. They account for about 950,000 FTEs, which corresponds to 81.6% of the total FTEs covered by employers who submitted a report in 2021.

Chart 1: Percentage of harassment and violence occurrences and employee coverage by industry sector in 2021
Chart 1: Percentage of harassment and violence occurrences and employee coverage by industry sector in 2021
Text description of Chart 1
Industry sector Percentage of HV occurrences coverage (%) Employee coverage (%)
Federal Public Services, Public Service Departments and Crown Corporations 34% 34%
Road Transportation 17% 14%
Postal Services and Postal Contractors 10% 5%
Banking and Banks 8% 23%
Air Transportation 7% 6%
All others* 24%  18%
  • *All others includes industry sectors not listed above: 1) Rail Transportation, 2) Communications, 3) Indigenous, Aboriginal and First Nations, 4) Water Transportation (Shipping and Ferries), 5) Broadcasting (Television, Radio and Internet), 6) Longshoring, Stevedoring, Port, Harbour Operations and Pilotage, 7) Feed, Flour and Seed, 8) Pipeline Transportation, 9) Grain Handling and Grain Elevators, 10) Energy, Mining and Mineral Processing, 11) Interprovincial Infrastructure

Public vs. private sector analysis

The share of employees and reported harassment and violence occurrences were proportional between the public and private sectors. Private sector employers represented 66.3% of employees from reporting employers and reported 66.4% of all harassment and violence occurrences (3,286). The public sector, representing 33.7% of employees, reported 33.6% of all occurrences (1,664).

Chart 2 presents the share of occurrences involving sexual harassment in both the public and private sector. Reported sexual harassment and violence occurrences are more prevalent in the private sector as shown in the following analysis.

Chart 2: Percentage of sexual harassment and violence occurrences reported in the public and private sectors in 2021
Chart 2: Percentage of sexual harassment and violence occurrences reported in the public and private sectors in 2021
Text description of Chart 2
Industry sector Percentage of sexual HV occurrences
Public sector 5.4%
Private sector 10.9%

Sexual harassment and violence occurrences

In 2021, the following eight private sector industries reported 65.1% of all sexual harassment and violence occurrences. These industries all reported at least 10% of their total harassment and violence occurrences to be sexual in nature.

  • Road Transportation
  • Banking and Banks
  • Air Transportation
  • Indigenous, Aboriginal and First Nations
  • Water Transportation (Shipping and Ferries)
  • Energy, Mining and Mineral Processing
  • Broadcasting (Television, Radio, and Internet)
  • Longshoring, Stevedoring, Port, Harbour Operations and Pilotage
Chart 3: Percentage of sexual harassment and violence occurrences by industry sector in 2021
Chart 3: Percentage of sexual harassment and violence occurrences by industry sector in 2021
Text description of Chart 3
Industry sector Total sexual HV occurrences (%)
Road Transportation 20%
Banking and Banks 19%
Air Transportation 9%
Energy, Mining and Mineral Processing 3%
Indigenous, Aboriginal and First Nations 5%
Water Transportation (Shipping and Ferries) 5%
Broadcasting (Television, Radio, Internet) 2%
Longshoring, Stevedoring, Port, Harbour Operations, and Pilotage 2%
All others* 35%
  • * All Others includes all industries reporting less than 10% of occurrences being reported as sexual within the industry.

Business size analysis

In 2021, a total of 501 employers reported at least 1 HV occurrence. As shown in Table 3, close to 80% of large businesses who submitted an EAHVOR reported at least 1 HV occurrence, 35% for medium businesses, and slightly less than 5% for small businesses.

It is also worth mentioning that the majority of reported harassment and violence occurrences are non-sexual across all business sizes.

Table 1: Number and percentages of HV occurrences by business size in 2021
Business size Number of submissions Number of submissions with at least 1 HV occurrence Percentage of businesses reporting at least 1 HV occurrence (%)
Small (fewer than 100 FTEs) 3,807 173 4.5%
Medium (100 to 499 FTEs) 505 177 35.0%
Large (500 or more FTEs) 191 151 79.1%
Grand total 4,503 501 11.1%
Table 2: Number occurrences by business size
Business size Total number of HV occurrences Total number of sexual HV Total number of non-sexual HV
Small 341 41 201
Medium 536 58 430
Large 4073 348 3207
Grand total 4,950* 447 3,838
  • * The sum of sexual HV occurrences and non-sexual HV occurrences related to harassment and violence do not equal the Total Number of HV occurrences since the type of some occurrences are unknown in employer EAHVOR submissions.

For detailed statistics on the prevalence of harassment and violence occurrences, see Annex 2.

Section 2: What are the commonly used methods of resolution?

Incidents of harassment and violence can be resolved through 4 methods:

  1. Negotiated Resolution
  2. Conciliation
  3. Investigation
  4. Work Place Assessment

In a given year, employers are required to report the final method they used to resolve an HV occurrence. In 2021, 2,950 resolution methods have been implemented to resolve harassment and violence occurrences, broken down as follows:

Negotiated Resolution: 1,156 of all resolutions reported by employers, or 39.2%.

Conciliation: 200 of all resolutions reported by employers, or 6.8%.

Investigation: 1,395 of all resolutions reported by employers, or 47.3%.

Work Place Assessment: 199 of all resolutions reported by employers, or 6.8%.

During the reporting period, negotiated resolution was the most common in the public sector (62%) and investigation in the private sector (53%).

Chart 4: Resolution method by public and private sector in 2021
Chart 4: Resolution method by public and private sector in 2021
Text description of Chart 4
Type of resolution Public sector (%) Private sector (%)
Negotiated Resolution 62% 35%
Conciliation 10% 6%
Investigation 19% 53%
Work Place Assessment 9% 6%

Business size analysis

Investigations were the most frequently reported resolution method, followed by negotiated resolutions, for all business sizes.

Table 3: Resolution methods by business size in 2021
Business Size Number of completed resolutions Investigation (%) Negotiated Resolution (%) Work place Assessment (%) Conciliation (%)
Small 291 45.7% 28.2% 16.2% 10.0%
Medium 503 56.9% 26.6% 8.3% 8.2%
Large 2156 45.3% 43.6% 5.1% 6.0%
Total 2950 47.3% 39.2% 6.7% 6.8%

Notably, small-sized business reported that 16.2% of HV occurrences were resolved by work place assessments, which was approximately twice as often as medium-sized businesses and more than 3 times as often as large-sized businesses.

For detailed statistics on the number of harassment and violence occurrences of each resolution type used by employers in a given industry, see Annex 3.

Section 3: What common relationships exist between parties involved in a harassment and violence occurrence?

The primary tasks of many employees vary by and within each industry. While the tasks for many employees are office-based, certain industries rely more on interactions with third party individuals. Therefore, the percentage of principal party (an employee or employer who is the object of a harassment or violence occurrence) and responding party (the person who is alleged to have been responsible for the occurrence) relationship types are expected to vary greatly by industry.

Of all the types of principal/responding party relationships, employee/employee and employee/supervisor, manager accounted for a combined 79% of all harassment and violence occurrences (see Chart 5). A principal party could not be identified in 4.4% of all resolutions.

Chart 5: Percentage of principal party relationships for all industries, by responding party in 2021
Chart 5: Percentage of principal party relationships for all industries, by responding party in 2021
Text description of Chart 5
Industry sector Employee (%) Supervisor, manager (%) Employee (to a supervisor, manager) (%) Other types (%)
All industries 41.6% 37.7% 6.9% 2.6%
  • *Other types include identified relationships involving a Domestic Partner (0.6% of all relationships) and those identified as Other (2.0% of all relationships).

Public vs. private sector analysis

For both the private and public sector, the most reported relationships remained quite similar. However, the private sector did report a much higher percentage of third party occurrences compared to the public sector. Conversely, the public sector reported nearly 20 percentage points more occurrences involving a supervisor or manager compared to the private sector.

The most common relationship types for both the private and public sector are depicted in the chart below:

Chart 6: Percentage of responding party relationships, public vs. private sector in 2021
Chart 6: Percentage of responding party relationships, public vs. private sector in 2021
Text description of Chart 6
Industry sector Employee (%) Supervisor, manager (%) Third party (%) Employee (to a supervisor, manager) (%) Other types (%)
Public sector 38.9% 50.0% 3.4% 4.8% 2.8%
Private sector 43.0% 31.4% 15.2% 8.0% 2.5%
  • * Other types include identified relationships involving a domestic partner (0.6% of all relationships) and those identified simply as other (2.0% of all relationships).

Business size analysis

Analysis of the reported relationships involved in HV occurrences showed that employee/employee was the most frequent reported HV relationship for both medium and small-sized businesses, followed by employee/supervisor, manager, business owner. Although employee /supervisor, manager, business owner was the most frequent reported HV relationship for large-sized businesses, employee/employee was only slightly less frequent.

Table 4: Reported HV relationship type by business size in 2021
Business size Total relationships identified Employee (%) Employee (to a supervisor, manager, etc.) (%) Supervisor, manager (%) Third party (%) Other types (%)
Small 313 53.4% 25.6% 5.8% 8.9% 6.4%
Medium 754 46.0% 26.9% 16.6% 9.7% 0.8%
Large 4275 40.0% 40.5% 5.3% 11.6% 2.6%
Grand total 5342 41.6% 37.7% 6.9% 11.2% 2.6%

Notably, supervisor, manager, business owner/employee appeared to be significantly more common for medium-sized businesses, where it made up 16.6% of all reported HV relationships, compared to small and large-sized businesses (5.8% and 5.3% respectively).

Prevalence of third party relationships by industry sector

In 2021, there were 596 reported occurrences of harassment and violence that involved a third party. Certain industries rely on their employees to maintain relationships with individuals outside of their organization, such as members of the public, outside clients, contractors and others. These individuals are identified on the EAVHOR as third party, client, contractor, or member of the public. Among the top 4 types of relationships noted above (Chart 6), the third party relationship is the most challenging for the employer to control. The 6 industries below reported a higher percentage of this relationship type for all HV occurrences than the average for all industries (11.2%).

  • Postal Services and Postal Contractors
  • Indigenous, Aboriginal and First Nations
  • Road Transportation
  • Communications
  • Longshoring, Stevedoring, Port, Harbour Operations and Pilotage
  • Banking and Banks
Chart 7: Percentage of third party occurrences by industry sector in 2021
Chart 7: Percentage of third party occurrences by industry sector in 2021
Text description of Chart 7
Industry sector Third Party, Client, Contractor or Member of the Public (%)
Postal Services and Postal Contractors 28.7%
Indigenous, Aboriginal and First Nations 19.7%
Road Transportation 18.4%
Communications 17.5%
Longshoring, Stevedoring, Port, Harbour Operations and Pilotage 16.4%
Banking and Banks 14.4%
  • * The black line depicts the average reported percentage of occurrences involving a third party, client, contractor, or member of the public (11.2%).

The chart below shows the percentage, by industry, of all 596 occurrences that involved a member of a third party. The 6 industries discussed above reported a combined 83.6% of the 596 occurrences for this relationship type.

Chart 8: Percentage of all reported harassment and violence occurrences involving a third party relationship in 2021
Chart 8: Percentage of all reported harassment and violence occurrences involving a third party relationship in 2021
Text description of Chart 8
Industry sector Percentage of all third party HV occurrences (%)
Road Transportation 34%
Postal Services and Postal Contractors 25%
Longshoring, Stevedoring, Port, Harbour Operations and Pilotage 2%
Banking and Banks 9%
Communications 7%
Indigenous, Aboriginal and First Nations 7%
All others 16%
  • *The chart depicts the breakdown of all 596 HV occurrences involving a third party, client, or contractor. 83.6% of all third party occurrences belong to the 6 industry sectors identified above.

For detailed statistics on the prevalence of each relationship type identified by employers in a given industry, see Annex 4.

Section 4: What role does discrimination play in harassment and violence occurrences?

When employers report on a harassment and violence occurrence, they are required to indicate if the occurrence is allegedly related to prohibited grounds of discrimination, if known.

For all 4,950 reported occurrences, employers identified 952 occurrences related to prohibited grounds of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act in 2021. It is important to note that it is possible for 1 occurrence to involve multiple grounds of discrimination. The most identified grounds of discrimination include discrimination by Sex, Race, Disability, and National or Ethnic Origin. The industries reporting the most characteristics of discrimination are:

  • Federal Public Services, Public Service Departments and Crown Corporations
  • Road Transportation
  • Banking and Banks
  • Air Transportation
  • Postal Services and Postal Contractors
Table 5: Grounds of discrimination by industry sector
Industry sectors Total discrimination identified Race National or Ethnic Origin Disability Sex All other grounds
PUBS 416 75 33 72 108 128
ROAD 122 28 16 10 50 18
BANK 112 19 15 9 51 18
AIRT 97 24 16 11 18 28
POST 53 15 3 8 15 12
All other industries 152 41 16 15 49 31
Total 952 202 99 125 291 235
  • * All Other Industries includes 1) Rail Transportation, 2) Communications, 3) Broadcasting, 4) Indigenous, Aboriginal and First Nations, 5) Pipeline Transportation, 6) Water Transportation, 7) Longshoring, Stevedoring, Port, Harbour Operations and Pilotage, 8) Grain Handling and Grain Elevators, 9) Energy, Mining and Mineral Processing, 10) Feed, Flour and Seed, 11) Interprovincial Infrastructure
  • * All Other Grounds of Discrimination includes remaining prohibited grounds of discrimination outside of the top 4, as identified by the Canadian Human Rights Act: 1) Colour, 2) Age, 3) Gender Identity or Expression, 4) Sexual Orientation, 5) Family Status, 6) Religion, 7) Marital Status, 8) Conviction, Pardon Granted, or Record Suspended
Chart 9: Percentage of top 4 grounds of discrimination in 2021
Chart 9: Percentage of top 4 grounds of discrimination in 2021
Text description of Chart 9
Industry sector Sex (%) Race (%) Disability (%) National or Ethnic Origin (%) All other types (%)
All industries 31% 21% 13% 10% 25%
  • * All Other Types of Discrimination includes remaining types of discrimination outside of the top 4 as identified by the Canadian Human Rights Act: 1) Colour, 2) Age, 3) Gender Identity or Expression, 4) Sexual Orientation, 5) Family Status, 6) Religion, 7) Marital Status, 8) Conviction, Pardon Granted, or Record Suspended

Business size analysis

Sex was the most reported type of discrimination, followed by race, for all business sizes.

Table 6: Top 4 grounds of discrimination by business size

Business size Total grounds for HV occurrences Percentage of grounds for HV occurrences of total occurrences (%) Sex (%) Race (%) Disability (%) National or Ethnic Origin (%)
Small 39 11.4% 41.0% 25.6% 0.0% 7.7%
Medium 91 17.0% 36.3% 25.3% 9.9% 12.1%
Large 822 20.2% 29.4% 20.6% 14.1% 10.3%
Total 952 19.2% 30.6% 21.2% 13.1% 10.4%

Notably, small-sized businesses reported the lowest number of cases of discrimination for HV occurrences. Small-sized businesses only provided reasons for 11.4% of HV occurrences, compared to 17.0% for medium-sized businesses and 20.2% for large-sized businesses.

For detailed statistics on the number of accounts of discrimination identified by employers in each industry, see Annex 5.

The way forward - A work place free from harassment and violence

The International Labour Organization Convention 190 recognizes the right of everyone to a work environment free from harassment and violence and establishes global standards to this end. The Convention was adopted in June 2019 by the International Labour Conference of the International Labour Organization and came into force in June 2021.

The Labour Program has worked with provincial and territorial governments, in accordance with the Minister of Labour’s mandate letter, to ratify the convention in January 2023. Through this work, Canada has made an international commitment that its federal and provincial laws, policies, and programs meet international standards and contribute to ending violence and harassment in the work place.

Research shows that harassment and violence in Canadian work places are persistent and pervasive, and that incidents often go unreported because people fear retaliation. Yet these behaviours have long-term negative effects, not just for those who have experienced them, but for employers as well, through lost productivity, absenteeism, and turnover. Beyond the implementation of legislation and regulations, a culture change across Canadian work places is also required to address harassment and violence.

To support the needed cultural change, the Labour Program has:

  • put in place awareness campaigns promoting harassment and violence prevention
  • established the Work Place Harassment and Violence Prevention Fund
  • created a toll-free help line to support employees and employers
  • committed to review the impacts of the new harassment and violence provisions in the Code every 5 years, supported by an annual statistical report based on EAHVOR submissions

Spotlights

In this section:

Spotlight: Resolution methods used to resolve harassment and violence occurrences

Under Bill C-65, employers are required to begin the resolution process for all harassment and violence occurrences within 45 days of an occurrence being reported. Each employer has the option to employ 1 or more resolution methods in their efforts, with the goal of resolving the occurrence between all parties involved. The resolution methods available to employers are:

Negotiated Resolution: Employers begin by working with the principal party to review whether or not the occurrence constitutes harassment or violence as defined in the Code. For occurrences where the employer and principal make a joint determination that the occurrence does not meet the definition, the occurrence is considered resolved. If an occurrence is also being investigated and the investigator has provided their report, negotiated resolution is no longer an availabe option.

Conciliation: Should the principal and responding party agree, employers may engage in a conciliation to address the occurrence. This requires both parties to also agree to the person who facilitates. If an occurrence is also being investigated and the investigator has provided their report, conciliation is no longer an available option.

Investigation: If an occurrence is not resolved through negotiated resolution or conciliation, a principal party may request an investigation. A qualified investigator is selected as outlined in the provisions within the Regulations. Once selected, the investigator must provide a report that contains a general description of the occurrence, their conclusions including circumstances that contributed to the occurrence, and recommendations to mitigate risk of a subsequent occurrence in the work place. The employer and the work place committee or health and safety representative then jointly determine the recommendations to implement. An investigation must be carried out if the principal party requests it. If the occurrence is resolved through negotiated resolution or conciliation before the investigator has provided their report, the investigation must be discontinued.

Work Place Assessment Review: Employers are required to develop a work place assessment. This involves a joint collaboration between employers and the applicable partners (applicable partners are the policy committee or, if there is no policy committee, the work place committee or the health and safety representative) to identify risks of harassment and violence, as well as to develop and implement preventative measures for each risk. This assessment must be reviewed, and updated if required, by employers and their respective work place committee or health and safety representative when a case of harassment and violence occurs if the occurrence is not resolved through negotiated resolution, and the principal party informs the employer that they choose not to continue. Work place assessments are also required to be reviewed if the responding party is not an employee or an employer.

Following the initial review, the occurrence is deemed to be resolved if the notice does not contain the name of the principal party or otherwise allow their identity to be determined.

Spotlight: Common relationship types between parties involved in a harassment and violence occurrence

On the EAHVOR employers are given the option to identify the primary relationships between parties involved in a harassment and violence occurrence. Each relationship type involves a principal party and a responding party.

Principal Party: An employee or employer who is the object of an occurrence.

Responding Party: The person who is alleged to have been responsible for the occurrence.

Six relationship types exist for employers to identify and describe the relationship between those parties involved an occurrence. An occurrence can involve multiple relationship structures as well, as more than individual may be involved within the occurrence. The 6 relationship types available to employers are:

Employee to Employee: The principal party and responding party are both employees. Employee to Employee accounted for 2,197 occurrences, or 42.0%.

Employee to Supervisor, Manager, or Business Owner: The principal party is an employee, while the responding party is a supervisor, manager, business owner, or other individual in a supervisory role. Employee to Supervisor, Manager, or Business Owner accounted for 1,991 occurrences, or 37.7%.

Employee to Third Party, Client, Contractor, or Member of the Public: The principal party is an employee, while the responding party is someone outside of the organization. Employee to a Third Party, Client, Contractor, or Member of the Public accounted for 592 occurrences, or 11.2%.

Supervisor, Manager, or Business Owner to Employee: The principal party is a supervisor, manager, business owner, or other individual in a supervisory role, while the responding party is an employee. Supervisor, Manager, or Business Owner to Employee accounted for 360 occurrences, or 6.9%.

Employee to Other: The principal party is an employee, while the responding party identified does not fall into one of the other identified categories. Employee to Other accounted for 106 occurrences, or 2.0%,

Employee to a Domestic Partner: The principal party is an employee, while the responding party is a domestic partner. Employee to a Domestic Partner accounted for 32 occurrences, or 0.6%.

Spotlight: The International Labour Organization Convention 190

“I’ve also committed myself to doing everything I can to protect workers from violence and harassment.

To that end, I am continuing to work with my provincial and territorial counterparts to ratify the International Labour Organization’s Convention 190, which will help eliminate violence and harassment in the world of work.”

Minister of Labour Seamus O'Regan at the Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities Committee – February 17, 2022

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The ILO, with its 187 member states, has a unique tripartite structure in which employers and workers’ representatives have an equal voice with that of governments in shaping its policies and programs.

As most labour issues fall within the jurisdiction of the provinces and territories (PTs), Canadian positions on ILO issues are developed in consultation with all interested jurisdictions. In addition, the agreement of the PTs is sought prior to ratification of ILO Conventions. For more than 10 years, Ministers responsible for Labour have endorsed a federal-provincial-territorial strategy on Canada and the ILO, which aims to enhance Canada’s participation in the organization.

The development and adoption of a new international labour standard on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work (Convention 190) is the world’s first international treaty addressing this specific issue. Ratification of Convention 190 is also highlighted as a key priority in the 2020 to 2023 Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT) Strategy on Canada. This convention was ratified in January 2023.

Spotlight: Work Place Harassment and Violence Prevention Fund Initiatives

The WHVPF (Fund) delivers $3.5 million funding annually to partner organizations to support work places to implement Bill C-65 and the associated Regulations. More specifically, the Fund aims to ensure physical and psychological health and safety in the work place through promoting and co-developing sector-specific labour management tools with employer and employee groups to help guide cultural change and provide guidance to works regarding the new Regulations. Approaches include behavioural changes, education and guidance, and mandatory training.

The Fund has been supporting 7 projects since 2019, whose objectives are to develop tools, resources and training materials in several key sectors, including work places in First Nations communities and in the maritime, road transportation, banking and performing arts sectors. The organizations that are receiving funding include:

  • British Columbia Maritime Employers Association
  • Nokiiwin Tribal Council
  • Trucking Human Resources Canada
  • UNI Financial Cooperation
  • Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women & Children at Western University – this organization is receiving funding for 2 projects
  • Canadian Women’s Foundation

Further information on the projects can be found on the Work place Harassment and Violence Prevention Fund’s webpage.

Spotlight: Work Place Harassment and Violence Prevention Hub

A Harassment and Violence Prevention Hub was established in 2018 and includes a 1-800 number linking callers with Labour Program resources who can:

  • help callers navigate the harassment and violence prevention provisions
  • provide advice to callers on how to file a complaint with the Labour Program if the caller believes the employer has been non-compliant with the legislative provision
  • direct callers to support services in their community
  • direct them to the appropriate jurisdiction if they are not federally regulated

Since established, on average, the Harassment and Violence Prevention Hub has assisted 1,500 callers each year.

Annex 1: List of terms

The following definitions are used in this publication.

Applicable partner

A policy committee, or if no policy committee exists, a work place committee or the health and safety representative.

Conciliation

A discussion or series of discussions that is mediated by a neutral third party who is there to facilitate the discussion(s) and assist the parties involved in reaching resolution. All parties involved in conciliation must mutually agree to participate in conciliation and on the person who will be acting as the conciliator. A conciliator can be a professional mediator, a supervisor, an Elder, a religious figure, a colleague, etc.

Employee

Any person who has entered into or is employed under a contract of service or apprenticeship, written or oral, expressed or implied, whether by way of manual labour or otherwise. An employee is also any other person subject to the provisions of a workers’ compensation board act or any direction or order of a board.

Full-time equivalent (FTE)

Refers to the employment of 1 person full time. It may also refer to more than 1 person part time whose total working time is the equivalent of 1 person working full time. For example:

  • 100 people employed full time equals 100 FTEs
  • 10 people employed half time equals 5 FTEs
  • all 110 people combined represent 105 FTEs

FTE data contained in this report comes from Employer’s Annual Hazardous Occurrence Report (EAHOR) submissions from federally regulated employers.

Harassment and violence

Under Part II of the Canada Labour Code (the Code), harassment and violence means “any action, conduct or comment, including of a sexual nature, that 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.”

This includes all types of harassment and violence, including sexual harassment, sexual violence and domestic violence.

Negotiated resolution

Any form of communication between the participating parties to discuss the occurrence and attempt to reach agreement on possible actions to resolve the occurrence.

Occurrence

An occurrence of harassment and violence in the work place.

Principal party

An employee or employer who is the object of an occurrence.

Resolution process

All the avenues of resolution – negotiated resolution, conciliation and investigation.

Responding party

The person who is alleged to have been responsible for the occurrence.

Witness

A witness to an occurrence or someone who is informed of an occurrence by the principal party or responding party.

Work Place

Any place where an employee is engaged in work for the employee’s employer as per 122(1) of Code.

Annex 2: Sexual/non-sexual harassment and violence and fatalities

Industry sector Total number of HV occurrences Total sexual harassment and violence occurrences Total non-sexual harassment and violence occurrences Fatalities related to harassment and violence
AIRT 357 39 294 0
BANK 381 84 290 0
BROAD 78 11 67 0
COMM 254 24 221 0
ENRG 55 13 42 0
PUBS 1,664 90 1,209 0
INDG 194 24 160 0
LONG 60 7 48 0
POST 508 19 489 0
RAIL 306 11 285 0
ROAD 867 89 570 0
WATER 113 24 89 0
Other Industries* 113 12 74 0
All Industries 4,950^ 447 3,838 0
  • * Other Industries includes industries reporting fewer than 50 occurrences: 1) Feed, Flour and Seed, 2) Pipeline Transportation, 3) Grain Handling and Grain Elevators, 4) Interprovincial Infrastructure
  • ^ The sum of sexual HV occurrences, non-sexual HV occurrences, and fatalities related to harassment and violence do not equal the Total Number of HV occurrences since the type of some occurrences are unknown in employer EAHVOR submissions.

Annex 3: Types of resolution methods used by employers

Industry sector Total number of resolutions Negotiated resolution Conciliation Investigation Work place assessment
AIRT 271 69 27 141 34
BANK 287 91 4 162 30
BROAD 77 22 4 46 5
COMM 217 105 8 92 12
ENRG 33 15 5 13 0
PUBS 507 317 50 94 46
INDG 216 52 22 111 31
LONG 45 9 3 31 2
POST 134 116 18 0 0
RAIL 198 47 13 138 0
ROAD 782 245 41 468 28
WATER 93 43 2 47 1
Other Industries* 90 25 3 52 10
All Industries 2,950 1,156 200 1395 199
  • * Other Industries includes industries reporting fewer than 50 occurrences: 1) Feed, Flour and Seed, 2) Pipeline Transportation, 3) Grain Handling and Grain Elevators, 4) Interprovincial Infrastructure
  • Not listed: Occurrences where the principal party could not be identified.

Annex 4: Types of principal party/responding party relationships identified by employers

Industry sector Number of identified relationships Employee Supervisor, manager Employee (to a supervisor, manager, etc.) Third party Domestic partner Other
AIRT 354 249 83 4 13 0 5
BANK 381 131 178 12 55 2 3
BROAD 77 24 42 2 7 0 2
COMM 251 85 109 8 44 4 1
ENRG 48 35 10 3 0 0 0
PUBS 1831 713 915 88 63 8 44
INDG 198 56 74 15 39 4 10
LONG 61 25 22 3 10 0 1
POST 508 200 78 51 146 6 27
RAIL 311 85 174 42 5 2 3
ROAD 1108 513 240 135 204 6 10
WATER 106 55 43 4 4 0 0
Other Industries* 108 51 48 3 6 0 0
All Industries 5,342 2,222 2,016 370 596 32 106
  • * Other industries includes industries reporting fewer than 50 occurrences: 1) Feed, Flour, and Seed, 2) Pipeline Transportation, 3) Grain Handling and Grain Elevators, 4) Interprovincial Infrastructure

Annex 5: Number of occurrences on discrimination grounds under the Canadian Human Rights Act

Industry sector Total Cases of Discrimination Sex Race Disability National or ethnic origin All other types^
AIRT 97 18 24 11 16 28
BANK 112 51 19 9 15 18
BROAD 23 6 13 0 1 3
COMM 35 9 12 3 4 7
ENRG 13 5 2 0 4 2
PUBS 416 108 75 72 33 128
INDG 19 10 2 2 2 3
LONG 7 3 2 1 0 1
POST 53 15 15 8 3 12
RAIL 34 6 9 8 2 9
ROAD 122 50 28 10 16 18
WATER 7 1 0 0 2 4
Other industries* 14 9 1 1 1 2
All industries 952 291 202 125 99 235
  • * Other industries includes industries reporting fewer than 50 occurrences: 1) Feed, Flour, and Seed, 2) Pipeline Transportation, 3) Grain Handling and Grain Elevators, 4) Interprovincial Infrastructure
  • ^ All other types includes all discrimination types outside of the top 4 reported types, as identified by the Canadian Human Rights Act: 1) Colour, 2) Age, 3) Gender Identity or Expression, 4) Sexual Orientation, 5) Family Status, 6) Religion, 7) Marital Status, 8) Conviction, Pardon Granted, or Record Suspended

Page details

Date modified: