On the eve of the eighth anniversary of the addition of the psychological harassment provisions to the Act respecting Labour Standards, a CROP-CRHA survey reveals that over
one-quarter (29%) of Quebec workers have witnessed intimidation or harassment in their workplace over the last year.
More specifically, when respondents were asked if they themselves had been victims of harassment or intimidation, 42% reported that they had had to cope with this problem at least once in their career. This figure rose to 50% among employees with annual household incomes of over $100,000.
“The situation is cause for concern. Quebec workers are entitled to a healthy work environment free from intimidating behaviour that could be detrimental to their self-respect or physical or psychological integrity. It’s up to employers to introduce practices that provide such an environment,” explained Martine Drolet, CHRP, Chair of the Board of Directors at the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés.
Harassment, costly for society and for organizations alike
Harassment not only can have serious consequences for individuals, but it can also generate costs for organizations. Some 30% of respondents who suffered from intimidation at some time in their career admitted staying away from work for this reason.
Costs tied to intimidation or psychological harassment in the workplace are real and substantial. As well as absenteeism, harassment creates what is called presenteeism; in other words being physically present but not really functioning. Given these sometimes dramatic repercussions, the Ordre believes it is crucial to talk about harassment and show that it occurs in all environments, both at school and at work. “In 2004, Quebec passed legislation to eliminate psychological harassment from the workplace. Unfortunately, it remains clear that there’s still a long way to go and only the active commitment of workers and employers can get us there,” concluded Martine Drolet.
The Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés asks Quebec workers and employers to be on the lookout for any incidents of this kind and not hesitate to denounce intimidation and psychological harassment in their workplace.
To learn more
Click here for the results of the CROP-CRHA survey (in French only).