earlier e-alert, we advised employers that the Safety Act of
the Northwest Territories was substantively amended and went into
effect on June 1, 2015.
Included in the new Regulation are requirements dealing with
harassment and violence in the workplace. There is a requirement
that all employers have a workplace harassment policy which
complies with the provisions of the Regulation. And for workplaces
where "violence can be reasonably expected to occur"
– workplaces such as liquor sales and consumption
establishments, establishments that provide educational, taxi,
transit, and crisis counselling, and health care facilities –
the employer in such workplaces must have a workplace violence
policy. Again, this policy must comply with the Regulations.
Safety Officers, who regularly conduct employer inspections to
enforce both the Safety Act and the Workers
Compensation Act, are now requiring, as part of their
inspections, that employers produce their harassment policy, to
allow the Safety Officer to review it to determine if it complies
with the new Regulation. If employers do not have a harassment
policy, they are required to introduce one, within a very short
period of time. Employers in industries where a workplace violence
policy is required can expect similar requests.
If you are an employer and operate in the Northwest Territories,
you must have a harassment policy which complies with the
Safety Act Regulation requirements. You may also require a
compliant workplace violence policy. If you operate in Nunavut, it
is anticipated that a parallel requirement will be in place within
a matter of months.
We have drafted and advised employers on a large number of
workplace harassment and workplace violence policies. We are happy
to assist you in creating policies which comply with the NWT
legislation, or in reviewing your existing policies to ensure that
they are compliant.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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