Module 7: Understanding Harassment


This module aims to introduce core dimensions of workplace harassment laws, policies, and practices. It outlined the prevalence, causes and consequences of workplace harassment, international, national and provincial rights-based and occupational health and safety legal frameworks, and mechanisms for resolving a workplace dispute. A socio-ecological approach shows that harassment is not a problem just affecting individuals. It also affects employers whose duty of care extends to creating a safe work environment. Employers establish policies, provide education and training activities, take complaints seriously and resolve disputes while also managing reputational risks and potential litigation costs.

Two factors make preventing and managing workplace harassment more challenging in the future – the use of digital technologies and more flexible work arrangements. These developments extend workspaces into cyberspace and the home, and make regulating and monitoring workplace behaviours by employers more problematic. As a result, laws, policies and practices are likely to continue to evolve even more rapidly in the future.


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