SaferPlacesNB.ca, an educational website designed to assist employers and employees to better address and prevent sexual harassment, was launched virtually today.
The website was created by the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission and the Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick (PLEIS-NB) as part of a 5-year project funded by Justice Canada.
It was created to help employers meet the regulation enacted in 2019 under the New Brunswick Health and Safety Act that mandates employers to establish policies and conduct training on workplace violence and harassment, including sexual harassment. These new requirements must be followed or organizations risk fines, charges and even jail time if offences occur.
Safer Places NB evolved from consultations with stakeholders throughout the province on the issue of workplace sexual harassment. A special focus of the project was to understand and support the needs of the LGBTQIA2S+ community in the workplace.
“Our consultations with employers revealed that many were unaware of their legal obligations with regard to preventing and addressing sexual harassment,” said Amber Chisholm, interim executive director of PLEIS-NB. “Employees who had experienced workplace sexual harassment told us they felt unsure and fearful about what to do next.”
She said the goal of the website is to assist employers and employees to better address and prevent sexual harassment in a holistic, collaborative and trauma-informed fashion.
“Any type of harassment anywhere has devastating effects for all involved,” said Marc-Alain Mallet, director of the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission. “With changing workforce demographics, our workplaces are much more diverse. This comprehensive and accessible resource will help employers focus on the well-being of their employees by creating and maintaining respectful and inclusive work environments.”
People can register for the workplace sexual harassment training at https://saferplacesnb.ca/en/register/. Training options include a facilitated Zoom workshop, or a self-guided e-learning course complemented by various educational tools, such as a workplace harassment policy guide and a template for employees to report harassment to their employers.