Building Respectful Workplaces

Building Respectful Workplaces

The General Social Survey on Canadians at Work and Home (GSS) conducted in 2016 found that 19% of women and 13% of men experienced some form of harassment in their workplace. Harassment includes verbal abuse, humiliating behaviour, threats to person, physical violence, and unwanted sexual attention or sexual harassment.

The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code stipulates that individuals have the right to be free from discrimination and harassment based on the following grounds: religion, creeds, marital status, family status, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, colour, ancestry, nationality, place of origin, race or perceived race, and receipt of social assistance.

Under the Work Place Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations, federally-regulated employers in Canada must develop a workplace harassment and violence prevention policy and assess their respective organization’s risks in 2021. Organizations should have a plan in place in how they deal with harassment accusations and a clear policy on how to protect employees and volunteers who are experiencing harassment.

Here are some good first steps to take when it comes to drafting your organization’s harassment policies:

  • Prevention programs should be developed in partnership with employees and management
  • Harassment policies should apply to management, employees, clients, independent contractors, volunteers, and anyone who has a relationship to your organization
  • Harassment should be clearly defined by the scope of your policy, with clear examples of unacceptable behaviours or acts
  • Consequences for harassment should also be clearly defined and followed
  • Outline the process to be followed when a complaint is made, including ways to include confidentiality to those who are reporting a harassment incident
  • Identify supports, both internal and external, that can be provided to an individual who has experienced harassment

Once your organization has taken the first steps to create your own harassment policy, be sure to work on educating your staff and volunteers to ensure they are aware of all policies and doing their best to hold themselves and others to expected guidelines.

To learn more about how to build respectful workplaces, be sure to attend the Respectful Workplaces in the Arts workshop taking place on Tuesday, January 26, 2021.

Further Reading

Sample Policy – SaskCulture Human Resources Manual – Harassment

Cultural Human Resources Council – Dealing with Harassment in Cultural Workplaces

Cultural Human Resources Council – Respectful Workplaces in the Arts – Reporting and Investigating Mechanisms for Workplace Harassment in the Arts

Canada: Employers Face Workplace Harassment Prevention Rules

Canadian Human Rights Commission: What is Harassment?

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety: Bullying in the Workplace

Workers Health & Safety Centre: Workplace Harassment – From Investigation to Prevention

Saskatchewan Employment Ac