Prevention of harassment and violence in the workplace – CAF members

  • I feel I have been subjected to workplace harassment or violence. What are my rights and responsibilities?

    All Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and Department of National Defence (DND) employees have the right to be treated fairly, respectfully, and with dignity in a workplace free of harassment and violence. You must treat others in the same manner and report harassment or violence if you are a witness.

    For occurrences that involve two or more CAF members, the following resources may be helpful:

    Integrated Conflict and Complaint Management (ICCM) is a service that helps active CAF members submit, track, and resolve complaints. To explore your options or submit a formal complaint, contact a Conflict and Complaint Managment Services (CCMS) office.

    For occurrences that involve at least one DND civilian employee, you may find the following additional resources to be helpful:

    You also have the right to receive assistance from someone in a position of responsibility. Some formal resolution processes provide an assisting member to help members prepare their complaint.

    Document any actions and attempts you take to resolve the matter.

  • I am a complainant or respondent in a workplace harassment or violence investigation. How can I make sure I am kept informed?

    For occurrences involving two or more CAF members

    Responsible Officers (ROs) must keep complainants and respondents informed during a workplace harassment or violence complaint process. For information about the RO’s responsibilities, review the Harassment Prevention and Resolution Instructions. These instructions are available only on the Defence Team Intranet.

    If the RO is not keeping you informed about the process, write a memorandum to your commanding officer to request an update and then submit it to your chain of command. You can get an assisting member’s help with your submission. If you receive no response within 30 days, send a follow-up memorandum with a copy of the original.

    You can also request an update through Integrated Conflict and Complaint Management (ICCM). ICCM is a service that helps active CAF members submit, track, and resolve complaints. To confirm the status of a complaint, contact a Conflict and Complaint Managment Services (CCMS) office.

    For occurrences that involve at least one DND civilian employee

    Review the Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Interim Policy. You can also contact the Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention (WHVP) Centre of Expertise for guidance by calling 1-833-747-6363 or writing to DesignatedRecipientHVP-DestinataireDesignedelaPHV@forces.gc.ca.

    If you have not received a response or if you are not satisfied with the response, contact our office for information and assistance.

  • My workplace harassment or violence complaint is overdue for a response from a Responsible Officer. What can I do?

    For occurrences involving two or more CAF members

    Under the Harassment Prevention and Resolution Instructions which are available only on the Defence Team Intranet, complaints are treated as a priority. Generally, complaint resolution processes are completed within six months. Responsible Officers (RO) must acknowledge receipt of a complaint, and notify the respondent within seven calendar days of receiving the complaint. Other timelines are established on a case-by-case basis, taking into account operational deployments and extended sick leave. The RO will inform both parties in writing when the file goes into abeyance or when extensions have been granted.

    If your workplace harassment or violence complaint is overdue, request in writing an update about the status and timelines for completion from the RO or Unit Harassment Advisor. Where a formal investigation has been launched, you may be able to request an update through the investigator assigned to your workplace harassment or violence complaint.

    You can also request an update through Integrated Conflict and Complaint Management (ICCM). To confirm the status of a complaint, contact a Conflict and Complaint Managment Services (CCMS) office.

    You can submit a grievance to your commanding officer if you are not satisfied with the treatment of your complaint. For more information, refer to our Redress of Grievance page.

    Contact a Conflict and Complaint Managment Services (CCMS) office for help if exceptional reasons prevent you from addressing your concerns through regular channels. These exceptional reasons could include time sensitivity, health, security, or financial concerns for you or your family. You can also contact our office by phone or in writing. Where compelling reasons exist, we can ensure the appropriate parties know about your circumstances. 

    You can contact both a CCMS and our office, and you can pursue both an informal and formal complaint resolution process at the same time. However, pursuing a resolution informally does not extend the deadlines of the applicable formal process. As a result, make sure you start any formal processes before the deadline.

    For occurrences that involve at least one DND civilian employee

    Review the Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Interim Policy for information on the complaint resolution process, including timelines. You can also contact the Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention (WHVP) Centre of Expertise for guidance by calling 1-833-747-6363 or writing to DesignatedRecipientHVP-DestinataireDesignedelaPHV@forces.gc.ca.

  • What can I do if I am dissatisfied with the process or findings of a workplace harassment or violence investigation?

    You can submit a grievance to your commanding officer if you are dissatisfied with an investigation process or investigation findings. Refer to our Redress of Grievance page for more information.

    You can contact our office by telephone or in writing if exceptional reasons prevent you from addressing your concerns through regular channels. These exceptional reasons could include involvement of the chain of command, time sensitivity, health, security, or financial concerns for you or your family. Where compelling reasons exist, we can ensure that the appropriate parties know about your circumstances.

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