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QUÉBEC CITY, June 22, 2018 – Over the next three years, the Government of Québec will put $6 million towards creating a program to counter psychological and sexual harassment in the workplace.
Dominique Vien, Minister responsible for Labour, Minister responsible for the Chaudière-Appalaches region and MNA for Bellechasse, and Hélène David, Minister responsible for Higher Education and Minister responsible for the Status of Women, made the announcement today.
$3 million will be dedicated to projects submitted by workers’ associations that aim to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. Another $3 million will support projects proposed by employers’ associations that aim to prevent psychological harassment in the workplace, including sexual harassment. These funds will be spread out over three years. Both components of the program will therefore receive $1 million per year until 2020.
I am convinced that the projects funded by this program will contribute to stopping harassment in the workplace and to helping those who have fallen victim to it. This problem, which is still far too common in many workplaces, is being taken very seriously by our government. We will continue to take concrete action until this type of unacceptable behaviour no longer has a place in our society. Furthermore, we recently adopted a law which aims to modernize labour standards. It includes measures to reinforce the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace.
– Dominique Vien, Minister responsible for Labour, Minister responsible for the Chaudière-Appalaches region and MNA for Bellechasse
The Government of Québec has formally committed to putting measures in place that aim to fight psychological and sexual harassment in all areas of society. I am happy to make this announcement today; it will contribute to making our workplaces safer for all.
– Hélène David, Minister responsible for Higher Education and Minister responsible for the Status of Women
- A call for projects will be announced once per year. For 2018-2019, the call for projects begins today and will continue until October 5, 2018. A selection committee will be put in place to evaluate the projects received.
- For example, projects can be submitted by associations of employees (unionized or non-unionized), artists or cultural workers, groups of self-employed workers, and employers’ associations.
- In order to meet the needs of each sector, the projects could aim to increase employees’ and employers’ general knowledge concerning workplace harassment, create sensitivity training workshops, or offer support to workers and employers facing a workplace harassment situation, for example. They could also involve hiring external specialists or creating relevant websites.
- Funding for the projects cannot exceed 90% of the projected eligible expenses, for a maximum yearly sum of $90,000.
- Note that an association can submit more than one project. In such cases, the funding granted to this association for all of their projects combined cannot exceed the prescribed annual sum of $90,000.
- This program will be the responsibility of the Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité Sociale and will be run by the Commission des Normes, de l’Équité, de la Santé et de la Sécurité du Travail (CNESST). Program details can be found on the CNESST website.
- The creation of this program is part of the commitments made by the Government of Québec following the Forum on Sexual Assault and Harassment, which was held on December 14 last year. $25 million over three years in supplementary financial aid was announced to reinforce and put in place measures linked to preventing sexual assault and harassment, reporting perpetrators, and supporting victims, particularly through the judicial process.
- Additionally, a recently adopted law aiming to modernize labour standards includes the goal of reinforcing the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace. Employers will be required to put a prevention and complaint processing policy in place, and to make it accessible to their employees. This law also stipulates that actions of a sexual nature constitute a form of psychological harassment.
- For more information about this program, contact CNESST at 1-844-838-0808.