The House of Assembly adopted the Nova Scotia House of Assembly Policy on the Prevention and Resolution of Harassment in the Workplace effective May 20, 2016.
On September 28, 2015 the Committee on Assembly Matters established a three-member all-party working group with the mandate to prepare a draft policy addressing harassment in the workplace for the committee's consideration. The draft policy prepared by the working group focussed on the following:
* specifying the category of persons to whom the policy applies, namely, all elected Members, permanent and contract staff who are remunerated from the Legislative Services budget and contract staff who work at the House of Assembly but are paid under other budgets such as security and cleaning staff and volunteers retained by MLAs to work in their constituency offices;
* presenting a broad definition of harassment to include any behaviour that a person knew or ought reasonably to have known would cause offence or harm, including sexual and non-sexual harassment on a one-time or on a recurrent basis;
* identifying the workplace as anywhere the business of the House of Assembly takes place including MLA offices, parliamentary travel and House of Assembly social functions;
* specifically excluding the application of the policy to debates and proceedings in the House or before its committees;
* setting out a detailed resolution process with particular focus, whenever possible, to early and informal complaint resolution;
* stating that the complaint resolution process is to be complainant driven;
* setting out the nature of possible sanctions including termination of employment for employees and the bringing of a matter involving an MLA before the House of Assembly with the House voting on the specific sanction to be imposed; and
* requiring educational and ongoing orientation/ training relating to the policy.
The Committee on Assembly Matters adopted the policy on May 18' 2016. On that same day the policy was tabled in the House by the Speaker and the Government House Leader moved a resolution in the House that provided for the House to adopt...