Canada: New Harassment And Violence Obligations To Be Added To Canada Labour Code

Labour, Employment and Human Rights Bulletin | Federal Sector Update
Last Updated: January 14 2019
Article by Shane Todd and Cathy Chandler

On October 25, 2018, Bill C-65, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (harassment and violence), the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1, (the "Act") received Royal Assent. The Act will, among other things, amend the Canada Labour Code (the "Code") and expand the obligations of federal employers, particularly in relation to workplace harassment and violence. 

The Act is not yet in force. The Government of Canada has stated that it intends to bring the Act into force within two years following Royal Assent. When it comes into force, the Act will:

  • Expand the stated purpose of Part II of the Code (Occupational Health and Safety) from just preventing accidents and injuries to include prevention of harassment and violence and psychological injuries and illness;             
  • Add a definition of harassment and violence as "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"; 
  • Impose a duty on federally regulated employers to:
  • Prevent and protect against occurrences of harassment and violence;
  • Investigate, in accordance with the regulations (which have not yet been finalized), occurrences of harassment and violence that are known to the employer, and to provide support to employees affected by harassment and violence in the workplace. These duty include occurrences involving former employees if the occurrence becomes known to the employer within three months of the last date of employment. The Minister may also extend the three month period if a former employee applies for an extension;
  • Ensure that employees, including supervisors and managers, receive training in harassment and violence prevention and in relation to these new Code obligations;
  • Ensure that the employer representative who receives complaints of harassment and violence has knowledge, training and experience in these issues, and knowledge of the relevant legislation; and
  • Provide employees, in printed and electronic form, copies of Part II of the Code, any applicable regulations, the employer's general health and safety policy, and any other information prescribed by the regulations;
  • Create an exemption to the mandatory internal complaint resolution process in Part II of the Code. It will now be optional for employees and former employees to complain about an occurrence of harassment or violence through the Code-prescribed internal complaint resolution process. If the employee or former employee does use the internal complaint resolution process, the complaint will follow the normal process and may be referred to the Minister for resolution. The Minister will investigate unless the complaint is an abuse of process or it has been adequately dealt with under the Code, another piece of legislation, or a collective agreement. If the Minister declines to investigate, a written decision will be issued;
  • Limit the involvement of the policy committee, workplace committee and health and safety representatives in harassment or violence complaints. A complaint of harassment or violence unresolved by the internal complaint resolution process in Part II of the Code may not be referred to the workplace committee or health and safety representative to investigate. The Act is specific that the policy committee, workplace committee, and health and safety representative shall not have the right to participate in investigations of harassment or violence. The Act also prohibits the employer from providing identifying information about a person involved in an occurrence of harassment and violence to the policy committee, workplace committee, or health and safety representative unless that person consents to the disclosure;
  • Require the Minister to publish an annual report that contains statistical data about harassment and violence in the workplace. The data must include information categorized according to protected grounds under the Canadian Human Rights Act;
  • Impose an obligation on the Minister to review the harassment and violence provisions in Part II of the Code every five years and to prepare a report on that review that will be tabled in the House of Commons;
  • Allow for regulations to be enacted to create pilot projects for testing possible amendments that would improve the prevention of accidents, injuries and illness;
  • Specify that these new provisions are in addition to and do not to limit or replace any rights under the Canadian Human Rights Act; and,
  • Expand the application of Part II of the Code to individuals in the federal public service employed under the Public Service Employment Act except to the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons and in the Senate and to their employer.

These are significant amendments. Currently, the Code does not directly address harassment. To access a remedy, it has been necessary to show that harassment was workplace violence, as defined in the regulations, or contrary to another provision in Part II of the Code or the regulations. This could sometimes be difficult because these provisions were drafted to address physical hazards and illnesses. They did not adapt well to non-physical hazards, like harassment, unless they caused physical injury or made the employee ill. The Act will bring Part II of the Code in line with other provincial jurisdictions which have already enacted harassment and violence prevention obligations in health and safety legislation.       

To support implementation of the Act, regulations will be enacted. Earlier this year, the government solicited public input on these proposed regulations and it is expected that a summary of comments received, as well as a detailed outline of any changes to the proposed regulatory requirements, will be published in the near future.

We will continue to update you on Bill C-65 as it comes into force and the new regulations when they are published.  

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions