The new year will bring important changes to the Canada Labour Code. Come January 1, 2021, employers will need to ensure they maintain compliance with new Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations (the Regulations). Part of ensuring compliance involves adequately and clearly communicating the regulatory changes to employees. This entails adhering to HR best practices of being transparent about these relevant changes.
Amongst other obligations, employers will need to develop a new company policy on harassment and violence, provide on-going education to employees, and develop a process to address and report claims of harassment and violence in the workplace. Employers should be mindful of the three main elements of the new anti-harassment and violence legislation contained in Bill C-65:
- Prevent incidents of harassment and violence
- Respond effectively to those incidents
- Support affected employees
Here are our top 3 tips to help you get started:
1. COMMUNICATE THE CHANGES
- Share the message visually in the workplace; display policies in common areas – such as lunchrooms or other staff common areas
- Send out digital as well as hardcopies of new policies in the form of internal handbooks or guide updates
- Hold a mandatory virtual staff meeting to communicate policy updates
2. PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR FEEDBACK
- Significant policy change requires a more immersive communication process so that employees understand the change at hand
- Offer opportunities to follow-up or offer more guidance as necessary
- Allow for open-ended sessions where employees can vocalize their feedback, and allow for anonymous feedback and questions after training sessions
- Provide a welcoming environment for employees to feel safe and to be able to vocalize all their questions, concerns, or general comments
- Address employee feedback openly, frankly, and in a timely manner
3. LEVERAGE YOUR TEAM
- A good way to communicate a new policy or procedure is by identifying leaders within your team who can be “champions” amongst their peers
- Leveraging leaders on your team can help make sure that employees can raise any questions or concerns
- Supervisors or managers with a solid understanding of new policies and procedures are better placed to help employees and can ensure that appropriate protocols are being followed
Employers have increased responsibilities in matters of workplace health and safety and a duty to prevent, respond to, and support employees in matters of harassment and violence.
While communicating crucial information and change in the workplace is challenging, it can be simplified with the proper tools and resources to support you.
We can help you make sense of these new regulatory changes. Our landing page has industry-specific tools and resources to help you learn more about anti-harassment and violence obligations. Starting in early January 2021, Trucking HR Canada will also offer affordable training that is industry specific and designed to help you meet the requirements in the new Regulations. Click HERE for more.