In February, every year, we all don pink shirts in demonstration of our support to ending bullying and harassment, a movement that gets bigger and bigger each year. With the summer months fast approaching, let’s not forget the importance of this stand against victimization and the actions we are all responsible to take in its presence. It is estimated that 40% of Canadian employees are still being bullied in their workplace on a weekly basis, a cycle that needs to be broken.
WorkSafe BC passed Bill 14 on November 1, 2013, a legislated directive that made every organization responsible to take bullying and harassment seriously with three legally binding policies. Bill 14 requires all employers, managers and employees to operate under these three guiding policies. Not only has this bill put into writing what we are required to do by law, it has also mandated our responsibility to take action. So, the question is whether your workplace is taking this new mandate into account and is in compliance with WorkSafe BC’s Bill 14.
The steps for employers are simple and easy to implement but nonetheless, some organizations have yet to jump on board. Employers: the “Employer Duties – Workplace Bullying and Harassment” policy includes the following required steps of action:
1. Develop and communicate a policy statement for your workplace that includes steps to prevent and minimize harassment and bullying.
2. Develop and implement a process and procedure for reporting and investigating incidents and complaints.
3. Develop training for all staff on what bullying and harassment is, how to prevent it, recognize and respond to it in the workplace.
A policy statement includes, but is not limited to, a description of what is and what isn’t bullying/harassment; how to spot and confront workplace bullying; and, what the recourse action will be in the event that bullying or harassment has been experienced by someone within the organization.
The process and procedures for reporting could be a combination of a) a verbal complaint procedure (and who to go to), b) a written complaint procedure (producing a form template for detailed written complaints) and, c) the process of who handles these complaints and what action is taken as a result.
Training for all staff can be carried out in a “Lunch & Learn” type format or even a presentation by an HR or Senior Manager at a monthly staff meeting.
Not only is it legislated; it is best practice and your responsibility to ensure your organization is compliant with Bill 14. Don’t wait until you have a WCB complaint on your desk to find out it is too late. If your organization needs assistance navigating and implementing these policies and procedures, please contact LVS Consulting Inc. for Human Resources advisory and consulting help.
Lauren Semancik, CHRP
LVS Consulting Inc.
About Lauren and LVS Consulting
LVS Consulting Inc. offers Human Resources services to a variety of clients in a range of industries. Lauren Semancik, Director of LVS, has her CHRP designation and over 12 years of HR, Marketing and Corporate Administration experience. Lauren sees the need that many small to medium-sized businesses face in terms of HR and the value she can add through implementing simple yet very effective HR solutions. From policies and procedures implementation, job description establishment to performance management – Lauren is an HR consultant you can trust to help bring your organization to the next level.