Getting Started on your Violence and Harassment Policy

Every employer in Ontario must have a workplace violence and harassment policy. If an employer has 6 or more regular employees, then the policy must be written down, reviewed annually, and posted in the workplace.

At a minimum, your policy should:

  • State that violence is an occupational health and safety hazard
  • Define workplace violence and harassment, and state that they are unacceptable
  • Make a commitment to protecting workers from violence and harassment
  • Encourage workers to report all incidents of violence and harassment
  • Make a commitment to investigate and deal with complaints promptly
  • Outline consequences of behaviour covered by the policy

In addition, an effective policy will:

  • Be clearly written and easy to understand
  • Contain examples of unacceptable and acceptable behaviour
  • Reassure employees that they will not suffer repercussions for making complaints under the policy
  • Explain how to make a complaint
  • Describe the process for investigating complaints and provide a time-line