The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission is introducing new online resources to help employers address and prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.
“It’s important that we do all we can to prevent incidents of sexual harassment from happening and that we adequately address them when they do happen,” said Mark Furey, Minister of Justice and Minister responsible for the Human Rights Commission. “These resources will support organizations in their efforts to create welcoming and safe workplaces for their employees and provide employers with the tools they need to contribute to a respectful workplace free of sexual harassment.”
The commission has recently seen a significant rise in the number of calls concerning sexual harassment, including from employers asking for advice and training. Through the Safe Spaces Make Great Workplaces campaign, the commission is providing a free online course for employers and their employees, along with a template for a sexual harassment policy which can be adapted by organizations.
“Addressing and preventing sexual harassment in the workplace starts with employers having a clear sexual harassment policy, educating staff and enforcing the policy,” said Christine Hanson, commission CEO. “Today, with the full support of the business community, thousands of employers across the province are receiving information about these free resources offered by the commission.”
Forty-three per cent of women in Canada say they have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. Sexual harassment at work is illegal under the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act.
“While the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace is not new, growing awareness demands employers thoroughly familiarize themselves with the issue and are provided with the necessary tools,” said Jordi Morgan, Canadian Federation of Independent Business, vice president, Atlantic. “This template and online training will be very useful tools for our members and our business resource counsellors to ensure small- and medium-sized businesses are ready to adapt to this changing landscape.”
“Sexual harassment is a serious issue for women. It creates barriers to their success,” said Kelly Regan, Minister responsible for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women. “The commission and its partners worked hard to build these resources and I wish it success as it continues to prevent and address sexual harassment in workplaces across the province.”
To access the online resources, visit http://www.safespacesns.ca .