With the November 1, 2013 implementation of WorkSafeBC’s Occupational Health and Safety Policies for Bullying and Harassment, all employers in BC are now required to take “all reasonable steps” to ensure the health and safety of their workers in a workplace free from bullying and harassment.
What does that really mean? In a nutshell, these Policies mandate that all employers in BC must do the following:
1. Take steps to prevent or minimize workplace bullying and harassment;
2. Develop a policy statement and implement procedures for workers to report and/or respond to bullying and harassment complaints;
3. Provide workers and supervisors with information, training and resources on these policies and procedures.
Where to start?
First, if you don’t have a policy in place, GET ONE. If you don’t, this can leave you vulnerable to financial penalties from WorkSafeBC, and potentially legal action from bullied employees. There are basic templates available on the WorkSafe BC site to get you started.
If you have a larger organization and recognize the need for customized policies relevent to your industry and organization, HRG can also provide customized policies that can assist in minimizing bullying complaints and safeguard the organization from legal action. Well constructed and informed policy will not only protect your organization from potential conflicts in the future, but contribute to the prevention of the bullying and harassment.
Next, once you have a policy, ensure that all of your employees know it. Present the policy to existing employees, have them review it, allow them to ask questions. Have them sign it.
Good policy + educated staff = less claims.
Make sure you know what constitutes bullying and harassment, and how it differs from human rights claims.
read it on the WorkSafeBC Worker’s Compensation Act.
Need more information or assistance with bullying and harassment prevention, education, training or policy? Contact us.
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