EDITORIAL: Responding to Workplace Harassment and Violence: Who or What is the Designated Recipient?

By: Marisha Tardif, Trucking HR Canada

Federally regulated employers will have new obligations to address workplace harassment and violence starting on January 1, 2021. Making sense of what’s required under these changes to the Canada Labour Code can be a challenge. What’s more, the Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations (the Regulations) introduce many concepts and practices that might be new and unfamiliar.

On November 30, 2020, Trucking HR Canada hosted an informational webinar to help federally regulated stakeholders prepare for the new Regulations.  Key details were discussed about the training courses and resources that will help employers meet new legal requirements.  We partnered with Miguel Mangalindan – a senior associate from Monkhouse Law who specializes in employment law. Miguel provided an insightful overview of the ins-and-outs of new employer obligations and explained the first steps that employers can take to get ready for January 1st.  After his presentation, THRC fielded questions from the audience.

One theme stood out in the Q&A – who is the Designated Recipientwho can be appointed as a Designated Recipient, and how does this work?

We heard you loud and clear. Let’s take a look.

Who or what is the Designated Recipient?

The Designated Recipient is a person, or team at your organization that the employer must appoint to respond to workplace harassment and violence complaints. They will receive complaints, manage the complaint process, and follow the complaint resolution procedures outlined under the Regulations. The most important thing to note is that the Designated Recipient cannot be someone in a managerial role. That means that managers or supervisors cannot be appointed to this position, even if they work in HR. This will help ensure that all employees can feel comfortable reporting a complaint. It creates a situation in which employees don’t have to fear being punished, disciplined, or retaliated against for raising a workplace issue with a superior.

Second, the Designated Recipient must be appropriately trained before taking on any duties associated with their role. When searching for the perfect candidate, bear in mind that if you don’t have someone qualified for the role yet, they can become qualified through training.

We’re here to help

Unfortunately, there is no ‘instructional manual’ to performing this role. But to support our employers, THRC will soon release a new resource focused entirely on all things ‘Designated Recipient’.

You can expect the following details:

  • The role of the Designated Recipient;
  • Typical work duties of the Designated Recipient;
  • Who can, and cannot be the Designated Recipient;
  • Designated Recipient training requirements, including training considerations;
  • Competency Profile for the Designated Recipient; and
  • Guidance on Identifying Candidates for the Designated Recipient.

This guide will help employers make informed choices on their next steps as they look to appoint an individual or group to play this vital role.

Visit our HR & Training Resources page to review our suite of templates, checklists, and informative documents focused on Bill C-65 and the new Regulations. Starting in January 2021, Trucking HR Canada will be releasing a suite of industry-specific training modules that provide Regulation-based instruction for employers, employees, and in incident response. Designated Recipients will be able to complete the full training program to obtain all the knowledge they need to understand key rights and obligations introduced by Bill C-65, including how to proceed during the complaint resolution process.

To find out more, keep an eye on our brand new Anti-Harassment & Violence landing page, where we will continue to post updates on tools, resources, and training modules designed to support the trucking and logistics industry in adapting to, and complying with new Canada Labour Code requirements in this important area.

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