Skip to content

New regulation under New Brunswick’s Occupational Health and Safety Act tackles workplace violence and harassment – coming into force April 1, 2019

Chad Sullivan and Bryan Mills

New Brunswick has recently introduced a new regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act on the topic of problematic workplace conduct. The change will bring New Brunswick in line with the other provinces, all of which already have some form of legislation in place on this topic.

The new regulation – New Brunswick Regulation 2018-82 (“Regulation”) – outlines specific precautions and procedures employers must follow to prevent and address workplace violence and harassment. The Regulation was announced on the National Day of Mourning, a day to recognize those who have been injured or killed because of workplace-related hazards. While many employers may already have policies in place to address violence and harassment in their workplace, many will need to either create policies or update their current policies to conform to the new Regulation.

In this update, we summarize the most significant changes employers will see when Regulation 2018-82 comes into force on April 1, 2019:

  1. Definitions for violence and harassment. These terms are now defined in the Regulation. Previously, it was up to employers to develop their own definitions in their workplace policies. The inclusion of these definitions means that violence and harassment will now be legally defined terms binding on all employers in New Brunswick.
  2. Risk assessments required. The Regulation requires all employers to perform a risk assessment analyzing the likelihood of violence in their workplace. The employer must consider the following information in conducting the assessment:

a. the location and circumstances in which the work is carried on;
b. the risk that may arise out of or in connection with

i. an employee’s work, or
ii. sexual violence, intimate partner violence or domestic violence occurring at the place of employment;

c. the categories of employees at risk, or the types of work that place employees at risk of experiencing violence;
d. the possible effects on the health or safety of employees who are exposed to violence at the place of employment;
e. all previous incidents of violence at the place of employment; and
f. incidents of violence in similar places of employment.

This risk assessment must be documented and made available to all committees (if any), all health and safety representatives (if any), and to an occupational health and safety officer (“Officer”) on request. The risk assessment must be reviewed when there is a change in the conditions at the place of employment or when ordered to do so by an Officer.

  1. Code of practice for violence. Any employer with more than 20 employers, or with employees who work in certain professions, fields or workplaces (see section 374.2(4) of the Regulation for a complete list) must establish a written code of practice to mitigate this risk. The code must include the following:

a. the methods and equipment to be used and the procedures to be followed;
b. the follow-up measures to be used with affected employees;
c. the means, including alternative means, by which an employee may secure emergency assistance;
d. the procedure the employer shall follow to investigate and document any incident of violence of which the employer is aware;
e. the manner in which affected employees shall be informed of the results of an investigation;
f. the procedure the employer shall follow to implement any corrective measures identified as a result of the investigation, and
g. the identification of training needs.

  1. Code of practice for harassment. All employers in New Brunswick will need to establish a code of practice for harassment – unlike the code of practice for violence, the code of practice for harassment applies to all employers, not just those with more than 20 employees or those with employees in certain designated fields. The code of practice must include the following:

a. a statement that every employee is entitled to work free of harassment;
b. the identity of the person responsible for implementing the code of practice;
c. a statement that an employee shall report an incident of harassment to the employer as soon as the circumstances permit;
d. the procedure the employer shall follow to investigate and document any incident of harassment of which the employer is aware;
e. the manner in which affected employees shall be informed of the results of an investigation;
f. the procedure the employer shall follow to implement any corrective measures identified as a result of the investigation;
g. the follow-employees; and
h. the identification of training needs.

  1. Establishing and implementing the changes. In conducting the risk assessment, and in establishing and implementing the codes of practice, employers must consult with all of their committees (if any), all health and safety representatives (if any), or if there are no committees or representatives, all employees. The codes of practice must be made readily available to an Officer and to employees on request. It is also the employer’s responsibility to ensure adherence to the code.
  1. Training. All employers will need to establish a training program for employees and supervisors in respect of codes of practice established. There are no provisions regarding what this training program needs to look like other than it must address the codes of practice in place.
  1. Privacy. The Regulation contains provisions to protect the identity of persons involved in an incident of violence or harassment. The regulation prohibits employers from disclosing the identity of a person who is involved in an incident of violence or harassment or the circumstances related to the incident, other than when the disclosure is necessary in order to investigate the incident, required in order to take corrective measures in response to the incident, or required by law.
  1. Review and update. The codes of practice must be reviewed once each year and will need to be updated where there is a change in conditions at the place of employment or when ordered to do so by an Officer

At Stewart McKelvey, our Labour and Employment group members have been tracking these changes and how they might affect our clients. We will continue to update you on these changes. This update is intended for general information only regarding the changes under the Occupational Health and Safety Act that affect labour and employment issues. Our Labour and Employment group is ready for change. Let us navigate it together.

SHARE

Archive

Search Archive


Search
Generic filters

 
 

The Winds of Change (Part 4): A Review of Rental and Royalty Regimes for Wind Development on Crown Lands: Options for Newfoundland and Labrador’s Economic Wind Policy

August 3, 2022

By: John Samms, Sadira Jan, Paul Kiley, Dave Randell, Alanna Waberski, and Jayna Green As we explained in our July 6, 2022 “Winds of Change” article, the announcement made by Minister Andrew Parsons on April…

Read More

Update on the Economic Mobility Program for Refugees (phase 2): The Economic Mobility Pathways Project (“EMPP”)

August 2, 2022

Included in Beyond the Border – July 2022 By Brittany Trafford; Fredericton   Brief Overview In an attempt to address the Canadian labour market shortages, the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (“EMPP”), was introduced in 2018.…

Read More

HR Best Practices When Employing Foreign Workers

July 29, 2022

Included in Beyond the Border – July 2022   By Brendan Sheridan; Halifax Canadian employers are increasingly relying on foreign workers to fill gaps in the labour market and to provide specialized skills. In 2020,…

Read More

Beneficial Ownership Registry Rules Come to New Brunswick

July 28, 2022

By Alanna Waberski, Graham Haynes and Maria Cummings On June 10, 2022, the Government of New Brunswick proclaimed into force Bill 95, which amends the Business Corporations Act (New Brunswick) (the “NBBCA”) to require corporations…

Read More

Recent trends in defined benefits pension plans – a review of public sector plans

July 28, 2022

Included in Discovery: Atlantic Education & the Law – Issue 10 Hannah Brison and Dante Manna Increased financial volatility caused by recent global events has caused public sector defined benefit (“DB”) pension plans to reflect…

Read More

Atlantic Canada offers immigration pathways for workers in Trucking, Health, Construction and Food Service Industries

July 27, 2022

Included in Beyond the Border – July 2022 By Sara Espinal Henao; Halifax It is a well-known fact that Atlantic Canada needs workers. In the aftermath of COVID-19, regional employers in the trucking, health, construction,…

Read More

The winds of change (part 3): Newfoundland and Labrador releases wind energy guidelines

July 27, 2022

By: John Samms, Matthew Craig, Dave Randell,  and Jayna Green On July 26, 2022 the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador (the “Province”) released “Guidelines: Nominating Crown Lands for Wind Energy Projects” (the “Guidelines”). Described as…

Read More

Trends in tenure and promotion for unionized employers

July 25, 2022

Included in Discovery: Atlantic Education & the Law – Issue 10 By Kate Profit    Tenure is a well known and often discussed topic amongst academics. Viewed by unions as a cornerstone of modern universities,…

Read More

Car-Sharing Comes to PEI – Insurance Implications

July 22, 2022

Dalton McGuinty Jr. and Kegan Bradley On May 17th, 2022, Canada’s largest car-sharing company, Turo, brought their platform to Prince Edward Island. The service allows car owners (lessors) to lend out their vehicles to drivers…

Read More

Federal Government announces significant investments in Nova Scotian clean energy initiatives

July 21, 2022

Nancy Rubin & Tiegan Scott On July 21, 2022, the Federal government announced a new investment of up to $255 million for clean energy initiatives in Nova Scotia. The funds will be allocated in two…

Read More

Search Archive


Search
Generic filters

Scroll To Top