British Columbia focuses on workplace bullying

Date Posted
Mike Rich

A pledge to prevent workplace bullying and harassment was made in conjunction with amendments to Bill 14 tabled today by Margaret MacDiarmid, Minister of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government.

“Our government’s position on bullying is straightforward – it’s simply not acceptable at any level. That’s why one of the most important changes we made was to add specific references to bullying and harassment. WorkSafeBC will develop and add new policy to the current violence in the workplace regulations and provide tools to address these destructive behaviours. Stakeholders will be consulted on this important work,” said MacDiarmid.

The Province is taking immediate action against bullying and harassment in the workplace. Action items include:

WorkSafeBC will immediately begin work on a policy on Bullying and Harassment and will include stakeholder consultation.

The definition of violence will be expanded and will require employers to have formal prevention plans.

WorkSafeBC will also develop a prevention toolkit for employers and workers.

Through Bill 14, workers’ compensation will be expanded to include diagnosed mental disorders caused by significant work-related stressors, including bullying and harassment.

“The employer community supports these reasonable proposed amendments to Bill 14, and we fully support the clear statement that bullying or harassment are not acceptable in the workplace. Our organization is pleased to champion with WorkSafeBC and other employer organizations to assist in the development of national best-practice tools and communications activities to ensure the prevention and awareness of workplace bulling and harassment,” said Greg D’avignon, President And Ceo, Business Council Of British Columbia.

In addition, the B.C. employer community will play a leading role in preventing workplace bullying and harassment, by assisting in developing the toolkits and by sharing them with their members. This commitment comes from the Business Council of British Columbia, BC Chamber of Commerce, Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C., the Employers Health and Safety Association and the Coalition of BC Businesses.

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