Effective January 1st, 2020, changes to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulations will come into effect, including provisions to address workplace harassment and worker-on-worker violence. The new regulations provide protection to workers while imposing new obligations and increased accountability on their employers.
The changes recognize the protection and growing sensitivity to privacy rights for employees. It requires employers to protect employee rights by keeping personal information confidential in the course of conducting a violence risk assessment and not disclosing that information except for purposes of an investigation or where required by law. Employers will be obligated to understand the new regulatory requirements and create, review and revise their violence and harassment processes before they take effect.
The new legislation requires employers to:
- Conduct a risk assessment on the likelihood of violence or harassment in the workplace
- Develop a written harassment prevention plan and formal policies on harassment and violence
- Protect workers from potential family violence in the workplace
- Provide training on the harassment prevention plan and relevant policies
- Develop a complaint process and harassment investigation processes, including a process for utilizing 3rd party investigators
January 2020 is fast approaching and employers will be expected to implement these changes. If you don’t know where to start, we can help. Higher Talent has knowledge in employment and human rights legislation. We are skilled at helping organizations develop HR polices, processes and toolkits.