As of mid-June, a Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA) survey found that 32 per cent of members said their place of business would not meet its obligations under Bill 168: An Act to amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act with respect to violence and harassment in the workplace and other matters, before the June 15th deadline.
Fifty-three per cent of respondents said they would be most challenged to implement the legislation's mandatory employee training and workplace violence reporting and investigation procedure requirements.
"It's very concerning that a third of businesses in Ontario are unable to meet the obligations of Bill 168," says HRPA CEO Bill Greenhalgh. "These results are not encouraging news for the government, and it leads us to believe that our members and their employers' resources are being pushed to the limit in implementing all the requirements of the bill."
In a previous HRPA survey last summer, 75 per cent of respondents supported the legislation, which would require all employers to develop and implement a violence prevention program, but many members had reservations about how they were going to implement the proposed regulations. Back in November 23, 2009, HRPA was invited to present to the Standing Committee on Social Policy on Bill 168. In the presentation, HRPA focused on the section of the act dealing with government's expectations of employers regarding prevention of domestic violence in the workplace. This section had been identified by members as a cause for concern in a previous survey.
"We asked that the committee find a proper balance that will ensure that HR professionals can meet their commitment of a fair, equitable and productive workplace for employers and workers," says Greenhalgh. "HRPA has been working with the Ministry of Labour to provide input on template resources for employers which we feel will be a valuable tool for our members to meet the bill's obligations while not overstretching their organizations' lean resource budgets."
Yet, as Workplace reported, the Ontario government is committed to enforcing the new violence and harassment requirements. Ministry of Labour inspectors are being expected to write orders for non-compliance.
Organizations still endeavouring to meet their Bill 168 obligations have access to a number of resources, including:
The Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) is Canada's HR thought leader and the largest HR association in the country. In Ontario, HRPA regulates the HR profession and issues the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation, the national standard for excellence in human resources management, as well as the Senior Human Resources Professional (SHRP) designation, reserved for high-impact HR leaders. To learn more, visit www.hrpa.ca.