Sun Life

Sun Life demo

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 2 of 3

4 Executive Series Digest could happen to you,' and that's the key message." To combat the stigma, employers need to look at what kind of work environ- ment they are encouraging. Employers need to establish a culture where employ- ees respect and value each other, said Sue Brown, principal at Mercer in Toronto. "And whenever there's an indication that's not happening, action needs to be taken, so there's a zero tolerance for any conduct that is mentally injurious to anyone in the workplace and there is the support that's required to make sure the organization operates within a mentally healthy culture." To help employers establish this type of culture, the Mental Health Commis- sion of Canada released a National Stan- dard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace in January. e standard provides a road map for employers to de- velop a psychologically healthy and safe workplace, including identifying hazards, assessing and controlling risks, and imple- menting measurement and review systems. e standard helps employers look at workplace issues through a different lens, said Sari Sairanen, national health and safety director at Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union in Toronto. "We're very familiar with physical haz- ards but what about the psychological, mental hazards that are happening in the workplace? (e standard) opens up that door to start looking at the psycho-social factors," she said. Will standard remain voluntary? While the standard is currently voluntary, there is a general regard that legislators and regulators have towards these types of standards and they do tend to creep into legislative requirements, said Cheryl Edwards, partner at Heenan Blaikie in Toronto. But employers may be challenged on how to tackle the standard in the existing structures at the workplace. "People are saying, 'Do we actually start anew and create a whole new system or piggyback on our existing policies and procedures and try to make a whole re- spectful workplace system or psychologi- cal health and safety system that rolls in all of our policies?'" said Edwards. Before they even start adopting the standard, employers need to figure out who is going to be involved and how they are going to integrate all the little pieces in the workplace, she said. As a best prac- tice, HR, health and safety, senior man- agement and the union (if applicable) should all be involved. It's extremely important for every workplace to have a champion around the standard who will spearhead the plan- ning process, said Ian Arnold, former chair of the Workforce Advisory Com- mittee of the Mental Health Commission of Canada in Ottawa. "It's really important to do this plan- ning right and move forward right be- cause the planning tells you where you want to go with respect to what you bring into the workplace to address the areas of need," he said. "en it becomes a con- tinuous improvement cycle." Having buy-in at the supervisory and ROUNDTABLE

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Sun Life - Sun Life demo