Summer is underway in Quebec. Like every year, this season will be short and the cooler temperatures will be fast upon us. This year, fall means amendments to the Act respecting labour standards (the Act) come into force.

As of September 27, 2024, Quebec employers must ensure that their harassment prevention policies comply with the minimum content defined by the Act. 

First of all, this policy will now be called the "policy to prevent and manage situations of psychological harassment." More than just a new title, it also includes new obligations for employers, including designating a duly trained person to handle complaints and reports, developing an inquiry process and implementing measures to ensure confidentiality.

Your policy must set out, in particular:

  • the methods and techniques used to identify, control and eliminate the risks of psychological harassment;
  • the specific information and training programs on psychological harassment prevention that are offered to employees and to the persons designated by the employer to manage a complaint or report;
  • the recommendations on behaviours to adopt when participating  in work-related social activities;
  • the procedures for making complaints or reports to the employer or providing information or documents to the employer, the person designated to manage them, as well as the information on the follow-up that must be given by the employer;
  • the measures to protect persons concerned by a situation of psychological harassment and anyone who has cooperated in the process; 
  • the process for managing a situation of psychological harassment, including an inquiry process;
  • the measures to ensure the confidentiality of documentation relating to a complaint or report, and the preservation period for documents, which must be at least two years.

Note that these changes apply only to companies under provincial jurisdiction.

It is therefore in the interest of provincial jurisdiction companies to review their policies now, and update them as necessary to comply with the changes to the Act before they come into force on September 27. Moreover, the law provides for fines in the event of failure to adopt a compliant policy.

This summer, take some time to review your psychological harassment prevention policy!



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