Bullying, Harassment, and Prohibited Action Initiative
The Bullying, Harassment, and Prohibited Action Initiative focuses WorkSafeBC resources on conducting education, consultation, and enforcement activities around workplace bullying, harassment, and prohibited action. This initiative addresses all industries, but there are three factors driving a stronger focus in certain sectors:
- Small businesses, which may have more limited resources
- Vulnerable industry sectors (e.g., those with young workers or high job insecurity)
- Industries with a large number of complaints submitted to WorkSafeBC
Bullying, harassment, and prohibited actions are occupational health and safety issues that pose a risk to the physical and mental health and safety of workers.
Inspections completed in 2019 and 2020 show that many employers have compliant bullying and harassment policies, procedures, and training in place. However, inspections focusing on employer investigations into bullying and harassment demonstrate that many employers are still unsure how to effectively address the issue in their workplace. WorkSafeBC will continue to support employers and workers to ensure that compliance requirements are understood.
The goals of the Bullying, Harassment, and Prohibited Action Initiative are to:
- Ensure continued customer service by way of continuity of service and timely responses
- Ensure employers have effective policies, procedures, and training in place to prevent and manage bullying and harassment
- Enhance workplace outreach to address proposed regulatory changes to Part 4 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation
- Promote employer compliance to prevent and minimize bullying and harassment, including employers having effective policies, procedures, and training in place.
- Provide prompt responses to complaints of prohibited action in relation to exercising a right under Part 2 of the Workers Compensation Act, or reporting health and safety issues in the workplace.
- Ensure employer responses to workplace harassment, including investigating and implementing preventative and corrective measures, are fair and impartial.
- Respond to complaints of inadequate harassment procedures or inadequate responses to harassment by employers.
- Conduct targeted outreach and inspections for employers in the hospitality, retail, and small business sectors. In addition, we will look at harassment prevention in the health care, construction, and agricultural sectors.
- Assess employer compliance through a targeted industry inspection strategy
- Consult with industry sectors to understand challenges workers and employers face with sustained compliance related to harassment prevention
- Enhance employer and worker understanding of employer, supervisor, and worker obligations with a goal of improving compliance
- Review and update the bullying & harassment resource tool kit
- Assist industry sectors with educational resources to develop and implement effective harassment prevention programs
- Partner with industry associations to enhance policies and prevention practices in the construction sector
- Complete an analysis of the 2020 Prime Contractor project on the awareness and implementation of bullying and harassment policies and procedures, and develop tools to assist with sustained compliance in this area
What you can do
Our bullying & harassment page provides resources and information to help you better understand and address some of the health and safety issues we'll be focusing on with our inspections and initiatives.