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Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act

Legislation Aimed at Stopping Sexual Violence and Harassment in Effect Sept. 8, 2016

Bill 132, the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), will come into effect on September 8, 2016. The act aims to make workplaces, campuses and communities safer and more responsive to the needs of survivors and to complaints about sexual violence and harassment.

The legislation includes several amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). These amendments will enhance employer responsibilities with respect to workplace harassment that occurs in the workplace, including sexual harassment, by:

•    providing a new workplace sexual harassment definition;
•    requiring new elements that will need to be included in workplace harassment programs;
•    adding new employer duties that will help to protect workers from workplace harassment.

To support compliance with the new requirements, the Ministry of Labour has created a Code of Practice. The Ministry is also developing fact sheets and updating its guidance material to help workplaces comply. A dedicated enforcement team has also been established to respond to complaints and enforce the Occupational Health and Safety Act requirements.