Client Update: New regulation under New Brunswick’s Occupational Health and Safety Act tackles workplace violence and harassment – coming into force April 1, 2019

Chad Sullivan and Bryan Mills

New Brunswick has recently introduced a new regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act on the topic of problematic workplace conduct. The change will bring New Brunswick in line with the other provinces, all of which already have some form of legislation in place on this topic.

The new regulation – New Brunswick Regulation 2018-82 (“Regulation”) – outlines specific precautions and procedures employers must follow to prevent and address workplace violence and harassment. The Regulation was announced on the National Day of Mourning, a day to recognize those who have been injured or killed because of workplace-related hazards. While many employers may already have policies in place to address violence and harassment in their workplace, many will need to either create policies or update their current policies to conform to the new Regulation.

In this update, we summarize the most significant changes employers will see when Regulation 2018-82 comes into force on April 1, 2019:

  1. Definitions for violence and harassment. These terms are now defined in the Regulation. Previously, it was up to employers to develop their own definitions in their workplace policies. The inclusion of these definitions means that violence and harassment will now be legally defined terms binding on all employers in New Brunswick.
  2. Risk assessments required. The Regulation requires all employers to perform a risk assessment analyzing the likelihood of violence in their workplace. The employer must consider the following information in conducting the assessment:

a. the location and circumstances in which the work is carried on;
b. the risk that may arise out of or in connection with

i. an employee’s work, or
ii. sexual violence, intimate partner violence or domestic violence occurring at the place of employment;

c. the categories of employees at risk, or the types of work that place employees at risk of experiencing violence;
d. the possible effects on the health or safety of employees who are exposed to violence at the place of employment;
e. all previous incidents of violence at the place of employment; and
f. incidents of violence in similar places of employment.

This risk assessment must be documented and made available to all committees (if any), all health and safety representatives (if any), and to an occupational health and safety officer (“Officer”) on request. The risk assessment must be reviewed when there is a change in the conditions at the place of employment or when ordered to do so by an Officer.

  1. Code of practice for violence. Any employer with more than 20 employers, or with employees who work in certain professions, fields or workplaces (see section 374.2(4) of the Regulation for a complete list) must establish a written code of practice to mitigate this risk. The code must include the following:

a. the methods and equipment to be used and the procedures to be followed;
b. the follow-up measures to be used with affected employees;
c. the means, including alternative means, by which an employee may secure emergency assistance;
d. the procedure the employer shall follow to investigate and document any incident of violence of which the employer is aware;
e. the manner in which affected employees shall be informed of the results of an investigation;
f. the procedure the employer shall follow to implement any corrective measures identified as a result of the investigation, and
g. the identification of training needs.

  1. Code of practice for harassment. All employers in New Brunswick will need to establish a code of practice for harassment – unlike the code of practice for violence, the code of practice for harassment applies to all employers, not just those with more than 20 employees or those with employees in certain designated fields. The code of practice must include the following:

a. a statement that every employee is entitled to work free of harassment;
b. the identity of the person responsible for implementing the code of practice;
c. a statement that an employee shall report an incident of harassment to the employer as soon as the circumstances permit;
d. the procedure the employer shall follow to investigate and document any incident of harassment of which the employer is aware;
e. the manner in which affected employees shall be informed of the results of an investigation;
f. the procedure the employer shall follow to implement any corrective measures identified as a result of the investigation;
g. the follow-employees; and
h. the identification of training needs.

  1. Establishing and implementing the changes. In conducting the risk assessment, and in establishing and implementing the codes of practice, employers must consult with all of their committees (if any), all health and safety representatives (if any), or if there are no committees or representatives, all employees. The codes of practice must be made readily available to an Officer and to employees on request. It is also the employer’s responsibility to ensure adherence to the code.
  1. Training. All employers will need to establish a training program for employees and supervisors in respect of codes of practice established. There are no provisions regarding what this training program needs to look like other than it must address the codes of practice in place.
  1. Privacy. The Regulation contains provisions to protect the identity of persons involved in an incident of violence or harassment. The regulation prohibits employers from disclosing the identity of a person who is involved in an incident of violence or harassment or the circumstances related to the incident, other than when the disclosure is necessary in order to investigate the incident, required in order to take corrective measures in response to the incident, or required by law.
  1. Review and update. The codes of practice must be reviewed once each year and will need to be updated where there is a change in conditions at the place of employment or when ordered to do so by an Officer

At Stewart McKelvey, our Labour and Employment group members have been tracking these changes and how they might affect our clients. We will continue to update you on these changes. This update is intended for general information only regarding the changes under the Occupational Health and Safety Act that affect labour and employment issues. Our Labour and Employment group is ready for change. Let us navigate it together.

SHARE

Archive

Search Archive


Generic filters
Filter by Custom Post Type

 
 

Client Update: New regulation under New Brunswick’s Occupational Health and Safety Act tackles workplace violence and harassment – coming into force April 1, 2019

February 7, 2019

Chad Sullivan and Bryan Mills New Brunswick has recently introduced a new regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act on the topic of problematic workplace conduct. The change will bring New Brunswick in line…

Read More

Client Update: Not a “token gesture”: Nova Scotia Court of Appeal confirms deductibility of future CPP disability benefits from tort damages

January 18, 2019

Jennifer Taylor In an important decision for the auto insurance industry, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal has confirmed that future CPP disability benefits are indeed deductible from damages awarded in Nova Scotia cases for…

Read More

Client Update: Change is the only constant – Bill C-86 changes in federal labour and employment regulation

January 18, 2019

Brian Johnston, QC and Matthew Jacobs Bill C-86, enacted as SC 2018, c. 27, will effect massive changes upon how federal labour and employment relations are regulated. They come into effect in 2019 with staggered…

Read More

2018 Year in Review: Atlantic Canada Labour & Employment Law Developments

January 17, 2019

We can all make 2019 a success by building on the year that was. For employers, 2018 was a year of many notable developments in labour and employment law across the country. We saw Ontario…

Read More

Client Update: Atlantic Canada pension and benefits countdown to 2019

December 28, 2018

Level Chan and Dante Manna As 2018 comes to an end, we countdown some pension and employee benefits developments in the last year that we anticipate may lead to developments in 2019. Discrimination in benefits…

Read More

Client Update: Canada’s Proposed Cannabis Edibles, Extracts and Topicals Regulations Revealed

December 21, 2018

Kevin Landry The first look at regulations for cannabis edibles, extracts and topicals has arrived. The Federal Government has opened a 60-day consultation period respecting the strict regulation of additional cannabis products. Notice of the consultation was accompanied…

Read More

Client Update: Recent Supreme Court of Nova Scotia decision drives home the importance of credibility

December 20, 2018

Erin Best and Kara Harrington “This case is about pain, how it was caused, by what accident and the opinions of dueling experts.”¹ “In this case, like so many, the assessment of the evidence depends…

Read More

Client Update: Land use planning in Prince Edward Island: the year in review

December 20, 2018

Jonathan Coady and Michael Fleischmann Overview Once again, the time has come to review the year that was and to chart the course for the year ahead. For municipalities, developers and planning professionals throughout Prince…

Read More

Client Update: Nova Scotia Labour Standard Code changes – domestic violence leave & pregnancy / parental eligibility

December 14, 2018

Following the various Stakeholder Consultations (which Stewart McKelvey participated in on behalf of Nova Scotia Employers), the Government has changed the Labour Standards Code Regulations effective January 1, 2019 to: a) provide for up to…

Read More

Client Update: Coming to Canada? You may need biometrics / Mise à Jour : Vous pensez bientôt venir au Canada? Vous pourriez avoir besoin de fournir vos données biométriques

December 6, 2018

Version française à suivre Sara Espinal Henao Canada has expanded its permanent and temporary immigration requirements to include biometrics – the measurement of unique physical characteristics, such as fingerprints and facial features. The new requirements,…

Read More

Search Archive


Generic filters
Filter by Custom Post Type