The Public Service Alliance of Canada supports the government’s intention to improve harassment complaint procedures, protect complainant confidentiality and – after 25 years – finally extend basic health and safety protections to staff of the House of Commons, Senate, Library, and Parliament as a whole, including over 600 PSAC members.
While much of this bill is positive, PSAC has recommendations for amendments which we have presented to Parliament. Our recommendations aim to ensure that legislation to improve workplace safety also takes into account the specific ways that workers – including members of equity seeking groups, such as racialized and indigenous women – experience harassment and violence and how their particular needs might be addressed in a complaint and reporting process.
PSAC is asking Parliament to amend bill C-65 to:
- Reinstate health and safety committees’ role in both receiving complaints and making informed recommendations by ensuring policy committees receive a copy of the competent person’s report
- Ensure the complainant must be provided with a copy of the competent person’s report
- Include a role for expert human rights bodies in the selection of a competent person to investigate harassment in the workplace
- Hire and retain a sufficient number of Health and Safety Officers and establish a substantive training system that includes training on privacy rights, human rights, sexual harassment, and domestic violence against women.