Feds announce measures to create healthy and safe work environments
The measures came into effect on Jan. 1
GATINEAU, Que. — The Government of Canada announced that the following legislative and regulatory changes have come into force as of January 1, 2021:
Strengthening prevention of harassment and violence in the workplace
- The anti-harassment and violence legislation (Bill C-65) puts in place a regime that takes all forms of harassment and violence into consideration.
- Employers in federally regulated workplaces and parliamentary workplaces must conduct a workplace assessment, develop a workplace harassment and violence prevention policy, develop and implement violence and harassment training, and establish a thorough process for dealing with incidents.
Improving compliance with the Code
- The new Part IV (Administrative Monetary Penalties) of the Code establishes an administrative monetary penalties system, which penalizes employers who do not comply with the Code’s health and safety or labour standards.
- Employers who do not comply with the Code’s occupational health and safety or labour standards provisions could face a monetary penalty of up to $250,000. Monetary penalties will be calculated based on the type of violation, the size of the business and any previous monetary penalties for violations of the same or higher classification.
- To provide employers with more time to adjust to these changes, monetary penalties for administrative violations—for example, record keeping and reporting requirements—will not be imposed until January 1, 2022.
Enhancing equality in the workplace
- The amendments to the Employment Equity Regulations introduce new pay transparency measures to raise awareness of the wage gaps experienced by women, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities in federally regulated workplaces.
- The first release of aggregated wage gap information is expected in the winter of 2023.
“Making workplaces healthier, safer and fairer will provide Canadians with a real chance to succeed,” said Filomena Tassi, minister of labour, in a prepared statement. “The regulatory changes coming into force today will create work environments in which federally regulated workers will be better able to achieve their potential. These changes will benefit workers, employers, the economy and all Canadians.”