Policy on Harassment Prevention and Resolution

Establishes the responsibility of deputy heads to protect employees from harassment beyond the requirement of the Canadian Human Rights Act by requiring that deputy heads respond to all forms of harassment.
Date modified: 2013-06-26

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harassment (harcèlement)

improper conduct by an individual, that is directed at and offensive to another individual in the workplace, including at any event or any location related to work, and that the individual knew or ought reasonably to have known would cause offence or harm. It comprises objectionable act(s), comment(s) or display(s) that demean, belittle, or cause personal humiliation or embarrassment, and any act of intimidation or threat. It also includes harassment within the meaning of the Canadian Human Rights Act (i.e. based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability and pardoned conviction).

Harassment is normally a series of incidents but can be one severe incident which has a lasting impact on the individual.

harassment prevention activities (activités de prévention du harcèlement)

activities which aim to reduce the potential for harassment, or perceptions of harassment in the workplace. These may include:

  • communicating to all employees the informal and formal processes available to them to resolve issues related to harassment;
  • communicating to all employees the departmental resources available such as a harassment prevention advisors, union representatives, Employee Assistance Program counsellors, and informal conflict resolution practitioners;
  • informing employees about the employer's commitment to a respectful workplace;
  • delivering workshops on harassment prevention, anger management, meaningful conversations, collaborative problem solving, etc.;
  • developing communication tools;
  • identifying risk factors;
  • managing conflicts promptly;
  • promoting a culture of self-awareness, collaboration and respect; for example, putting in place 360-degree feedback mechanisms or comparable processes to ensure that results are achieved in a manner that respects employees.
  • providing appropriate training and tools to those who are involved in managing and resolving harassment complaints;
  • staying vigilant to the workplace climate.
informal resolution process (processus de résolution informel)

a confidential and voluntary collaborative problem-solving approach such as face to face conversation, conflict coaching, facilitated discussion or mediation that has the advantage of addressing the parties' needs, concerns and mutual interests. Informal resolution processes are also commonly called interest based conflict resolution, Informal Conflict Management System (ICMS) and alternative dispute resolution.

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