Regulations
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What Employers Should Know About

Sexual Harassment Prevention Training in Canada

Updated Winter 2020
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Summary:

With the exception of industries that are federally regulated, such as interprovincial banks, trucking and airlines, employer sexual harassment prevention training requirements in Canada are provincially regulated. In many provinces, the topic of harassment is included in health and safety programs.

The following table contains information listed by province, subject to change. This list covers minimum requirements—training that meets or exceeds the minimum is considered to be a best practice by most industry standards.

 
Province Harassment Training Requirements
Alberta An employer who employs 20 or more workers shall establish, in consultation with the joint work site health and safety committee, a health and safety program that includes, among other minimum elements,
  • a health and safety policy
  • worker and supervisor health and safety training
  • procedures for reviewing and revising the health and safety program if circumstances at a work site change in a way that creates or could create a hazard to workers (Bill 30)
Meanwhile, an employer with fewer than 20 workers shall involve affected workers and the health and safety representative, if one exists, in hazard assessment and control or elimination of the hazards identified in accordance with the regulations and the OHS code (Bill 30)
British Columbia “Every employer must provide to the employer’s workers the information, instruction, training and supervision necessary to ensure the health and safety of those workers in carrying out their work” (WorkSafe BC Policy D3-115-2)

Employers must review their policies, including training that is being given, annually (WorkSafe BC Policy D3-115-2)
Manitoba All employers must develop and implement a written harassment prevention policy in consultation with the workplace safety and health committee or representative (Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Regulation, M.R. 217/2006, Part 10)

A component of this is education, which must “make ongoing harassment training part of other training sessions, such as: management training, induction programs for new employees, courses for union-management committees, social skills training for employees, assertiveness training for employees” (Safe Work Manitoba guidelines)
New Brunswick An employer shall establish a written code of practice for harassment at the place of employment to ensure the health and safety of employees to the extent possible (s.374.4(1), Reg. 2018-82)

An employer shall implement a training program in respect of the codes of practice established [above] for each employee and for each supervisor who is responsible for an employee (s. 374.7(1))

An employer shall review the codes of practice at least once each year in consultation with all committees and all health and safety representatives (s. 374.8(1))
Newfoundland & Labrador An employer shall develop, implement, and maintain a written harassment prevention plan, to be reviewed as necessary but at least annually (Note: employers must state the workers’ obligation to take reasonable care not to engage in bullying or workplace harassment; employers themselves are required to participate in training) (NLR Reg. 3/19)
Nova Scotia The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission has introduced online resources to assist employers in addressing and preventing sexual harassment in the workplace; there does not appear to be a strict training requirement [as of this writing]
Ontario Employers must ensure that they provide their employees with “information and instruction that is appropriate for the worker on the contents of the policy and program with respect to workplace harassment” (OHSA, s. 32.0.8)

A policy must be reviewed at least annually, and must be written and posted conspicuously in the workplace if there are six or more people working at the workplace (s.32.0.1). Training is suggested in OHSA’s code of practice as a possible “corrective action” to emerge from an investigation into an incident of alleged harassment (s. 32.0.7). Training is required when the The above should not be viewed as legal advice and we always recommend speaking to your legal counsel where you have specific legal questions. workplace policy/program changes, or if something brings about a need for a review or refresher (such as an investigation)
Prince Edward Island Every employer shall, after consultation with employees or their representatives, if any, issue a policy statement on sexual harassment (ESA) The policy statement must include various statements to the effect that reasonable efforts will be taken by the employer to ensure that no sexual harassment occurs in the workplace (ESA)
Quebec “Employers must take reasonable action to prevent psychological harassment and, whenever they become aware of such behaviour, to put a stop to it. They must, in particular, adopt and make available to their employees a psychological harassment prevention and complaint processing policy that includes, in particular, a section on behaviour that manifests itself in the form of verbal comments, actions or gestures of a sexual nature” (ARLS)
Saskatchewan Employers are advised to promote awareness through information meetings and training on harassment prevention. Training can include:
  • rights and responsibilities workers have under The Saskatchewan Employment Act;
  • behaviours prohibited by the harassment policy including behaviours by third parties that will not be tolerated;
  • tips for helping create a respectful workplace;
  • videos, publications and reference materials on harassment prevention (Saskatchewan Guidelines on Safety in the Workplace)
Northwest Territories and Nunavut OHS regulations require all employers to develop and implement an effective written harassment policy, for best practice. This can (but does not have to) include proactive training that can make use of videos, publications, or reference materials (WSCC Code of Practice)
Yukon Territory No specific training requirements but new regulations are being developed [as of this writing]
 
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