Psychological harassment at work - Mediation, a service offered to the employees and employers of Québec

    QUEBEC CITY, July 3 /CNW Telbec/ - Four years after the entry into force
of the provisions of the Act which protect employees from psychological
harassment at work, 37% of the complaints filed with the Commission des normes
du travail have been settled through mediation.
    "During mediation, the two parties work together to find a satisfactory
solution. This approach is very effective as evidenced by the fact that an
agreement is reached between the employee and the employer in 95% of the cases
handled by our mediation service," indicated Michel Després, Chairperson and
Director General.

    A process the is both simple and confidential

    Mediation in the field of psychological harassment at work is a free
service offered by the Commission des normes du travail and may be requested
at any time during an investigation. This approach consists of holding a
meeting between the employee and the employer in the presence of a mediator
from the Commission. On that occasion, each party is asked to give his/her
version of the facts concerning the dispute opposing them. The mediator, after
having heard the employee and then the employer, will endeavour to help the
parties find solutions that are satisfactory to them.

    Profile of complaints

    The analysis of the 8,631 complaints received by the Commission des
normes du travail over the last four years reveals that:

    - 64% of the complaints were filed by women;
    - 94% of the alleged psychological harassment situations were repetitive
      in nature;
    - in 84% of the cases, at least one of the persons referred to in the
      complaint filed held a supervisory position;
    - 90% of the complaints were settled (7,774 cases);
    - 85% of the complainants who used the mediation service said that they
      were very satisfied with the mediator's work;
    - 698 complaints have been transferred to the Commission des relations du
      travail for hearing and decision. Of that number, 462 (66%) have been
      settled. An out-of-court settlement was reached in 380 of these cases.

    Continuation of the prevention tour in the regions

    The Commission des normes du travail reiterates that prevention and
awareness promotion are the best tools for ensuring a healthy work climate
free of every form of harassment. On this subject, the Commission is
continuing its prevention tour in the regions of Québec begun last fall. Its
web site also proposes several tools along with an information kit prepared
for employers and employees who are invited to consult the following address:
    -%RE: 1

For further information:

For further information: Jean-François Pelchat, Direction des
communications, (418) 525-2164

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