Report of the committee

Monday, June 18, 2018

The Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights has the honour to present its

FIFTEENTH REPORT

Your committee, to which was referred Bill C-65, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (harassment and violence), the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1, has, in obedience to the order of reference of June 7, 2018, examined the said bill and now reports the same with the following amendments:

1. Clause 0.1, page 1: Replace line 7 with the following:

harassment and violence includes any action, conduct or”.

2. Clause 1, page 1: Replace lines 15 to 19 with the following:

122.1 The purpose of this Part is to

(a) prevent accidents, occurrences of harassment and violence and physical or psychological injuries and illnesses arising out of, linked with or occurring in the course of employment to which this part applies;

(b) recognize that every employee has the right to employment that is free from harassment and violence; and

(c) advance gender equality,  address issues of racism and ensure that the rights of women workers, including those who face intersectional forms of discrimination, are respected, protected and fulfilled.”.

3. New clause 2.1, page 2: Add the following after line 6:

2.1 The Act is amended by adding the following after section 123:

123.1 For greater certainty, nothing in this Part shall be construed so as to abrogate or derogate from the rights provided for under the Canadian Human Rights Act.”.

4. Clause 3, page 3: Add the following after line 8:

(z.163) ensure that the work place is free from harassment and violence;

(z.164) ensure that the person designated by the employer to receive complaints relating to occurrences of harassment and violence has knowledge, training and experience in issues relating to harassment and violence and has knowledge of relevant legislation;”.

5. Clause 5, pages 4 and 5:

(aOn page 4, add the following after line 25:

(2.1) Subsection 127.1(4) of the Act is replaced by the following:

(4) The persons who investigate the complaint shall inform the employee and the employer in writing, in the form and manner prescribed if any is prescribed, of the results of the investigation and provide them with a copy of the investigation report.”; and

(bon page 5, replace line 11 with the following:

(b) the matter is otherwise an abuse of process.”.

6. Clause 11.1, pages 7 and 8:

(aOn page 7, replace line 37 with the following:

139.1 (1) The Minister shall prepare and publish an annual”; and

(bon page 8, add the following after line 5:

(2) The statistical data contained in the report shall include information that is categorized according to prohibited grounds of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act.”.

7. Clause 21, pages 13 and 16:

(aOn page 13, add the following after line 35:

(3) For greater certainty, subject to section 2, nothing in this Part shall be construed so as to abrogate or derogate from the rights provided for under the Canadian Human Rights Act.”; and

(bon page 16,

(i) replace line 1 with the following:

88.7 (1) The Board shall, as soon as possible after the end of”, and

(ii) add the following after line 10:

(2) The report must contain statistical data relating to harassment and violence in work places to which this Part applies, including information that is categorized according to prohibited grounds of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act. The report shall not contain any information that is likely to reveal the identity of a person who was involved in an occurrence of harassment and violence.”.

Your committee has also made certain observations, which are appended to this report.

Respectfully submitted,

JANE CORDY

Deputy Chair

OBSERVATIONS

to the 15th Report of the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights (Bill C-65)

During its study of Bill C-65, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (harassment and violence), the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1, the committee heard from a number of witnesses, including the Canadian Human Rights Commission. The committee makes the following observations based on their concerns:

1. The committee observes that harassment and violence in the workplace are barriers to equality in employment. As such, the committee recognizes this problem as a human rights issue and emphasizes that every employee has the right to employment free from harassment and violence. During the implementation phase of Bill C-65, the Government of Canada should underscore the responsibilities of employers under human rights law in its communication and education efforts.

2. The bill requires the ministers responsible for the Canada Labour Code and the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act to review the legislative provisions relating to harassment and violence five years after the bill comes into force. The committee urges the ministers to use this opportunity to ensure the definition of “harassment and violence” in the bill adequately captures evolving forms of workplace harassment and violence.

3. The Government of Canada should ensure that employers’ policies and training in relation to harassment and violence in federal and parliamentary workplaces include the provision of information to employees about their rights under the Canadian Human Rights Act, including their rights to seek redress under that Act.

4. The committee urges the Government of Canada to develop a communication and education strategy for the implementation of Bill C-65 that makes absolutely clear that individuals are not prevented from seeking redress under any Act of Parliament in respect of protections or remedies that may be available pursuant to the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Furthermore, based on testimony heard from other witnesses, including testimonies from those who have been impacted by workplace harassment, we also make the following observations:

5. The committee strongly urges the Government of Canada to ensure that part of the training offered to employers and employees include bystander intervention training.

6. The committee strongly urges the Government of Canada to commit to ensuring that at least 50 per cent of the persons deemed qualified to be appointed as competent persons be women and that any body or mechanism governing the qualification and appointment of competent persons contain members of marginalized groups.