The government of British Columbia passed Bill 14, effective July 2, 2012, which expanded the definition of violence, and required employers to have formal prevention plans.
Through Bill 14, employees’ compensation was expanded to include: diagnosed mental disorders caused by significant work-related stressors, including bullying and harassment; a new reference to bullying and harassment as a significant work-related stressor; a “predominant cause” test for mental disorders caused by significant work-related stressors; and, revised wording from “mental stress” to “mental disorder.”
Only 1 in 3 employees reported bullying to HR.
1 in 3 bullied employees said it caused health problems.
Employers need to adjust their focus to work toward what is termed the psychologically safe workplace, “one that does not permit harm to employee mental health,… one in which every practical effort is made to avoid reasonably foreseeable injury to the mental health of employees.”
Martin Shane, S.J.D (Preventing Workplace Meltdown: An Employer’s Guide to Maintaining a Psychologically Safe Workplace-A Carswell Implementation Guide)
“A workplace where employees feel that the employer will have their back if they take action against a bullying co-worker or supervisor will retain its best people, and make it clear to abusers and bullies that they need to change their behaviour if they wish to remain employed.”
Owen Mahoney, Associate
HR Proactive Inc.
A 2014 survey conducted by The Angus Reid Institute (ARI) among 1504 randomly selected Canadians, reported the following:
3 in 10 Canadians (28%) say they have been on the receiving end of unwelcome sexual advances while on the job.
For 1 in 7 adults in this country, the experience has been more than innuendo or talk.
4 in 5 who say they have had an unwanted experience never actually reported the behaviour to their employers.
75% of Canadians say that the issues of sexual harassment in the workplace are important and should get more attention. Most (76%) believe it is widespread or at least a common occurrence.
Despite the overwhelming propensity not to report, it is notable that roughly 1 in 5 who did report found that the employers were “responsive and conducted a serious investigation and took proper action” (40% sexual harassment and 42% non-consensual sexual contact).
Workplace policies and protocols can play a significant role in reducing harassment and the associated negative health outcomes.