March 8: International Women's Day 2019

March 8 is International Women’s Day. While some gains have been made in 2019, pay equity, accessible quality child care, sexual and racial harassment, discrimination in the workplace, and gender-based violence are still crucial issues for women in Canada.

The #MeToo movement and pressure from women’s groups have resulted in recent changes in federal law. Namely, the Canada Labour Code Health and Safety provisions have been amended to specifically include harassment and psychological violence (Bill C-65).

This means that employers will have to take proactive measures to protect their employees from harassment and violence. Policies identifying risk factors and warning signs will need to be developed in collaboration with the bargaining agents.

Statistics show that half of domestic violence victims experience some form of abuse by their partner while they are in the workplace. This can result in stress and other mental health problems for the victims and negative impacts on the working environment.

The Joint Learning Program is committed to promoting respectful and healthy workplaces. The new provisions of Bill C-65 on harassment and violence will be explored in the new JLP workshop entitled ‘Preventing Harassment and Violence in the Workplace’, to be released in the near future.