Home|Audio Conferences|Protecting Brains in the Knowledge Economy

Protecting Brains in the Knowledge Economy: A guide to psychological health and safety in the workplace

Thursday, February 6, 2020, 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm EST



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Moderators


Amy Bradbury

Employer Counsel
Wickwire Holm
David Yazbeck

Union Counsel
Raven, Cameron, Ballantyne & Yazbeck LLP

Speakers


Jon Chapnick

Lawyer/Workplace Consultant
Portage Legal Services
Christina Kennedy

Legal Counsel
Newfoundland & Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees
Emile Tompa

Senior Scientist
Institute for Work & Health

Issues

As a result of recent but profound changes to working practices — and a general shift to a knowledge-based economy — workplace psychosocial hazards and work-related stress are emerging as major occupational health and safety issues. In order to address these hazards, the Mental Health Commission of Canada sponsored the development of the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, which provides a framework for promoting the mental health of employees and preventing psychological harm in the workplace. In this session, leading experts will outline the legal and business cases for implementing the Standard and identify promising practices and common barriers faced when implementing comprehensive workplace psychological health and safety policies and programs. Specific issues affecting employers and unions include the following:

  • How is "psychological health and safety" defined in the Standard? Is this a generally accepted definition? Why is psychological health and safety becoming increasingly important to workers, regulators, and employers?
  • What is the "legal case" for implementing the Standard or some other comprehensive workplace psychological health and safety policy? Do employers have a legal duty to ensure that the way they manage the workplace does not cause employees unnecessary or undue stress or otherwise cause mental injury? Are there any indications that the Standard may become mandatory in the near future?
  • What is the "business case" for ensuring workplace psychological health and safety? What are the potential financial costs to employers that fail to ensure psychologically healthy workplaces in terms of reduced productivity, increased insurance costs, and legal damage awards?
  • What role should the Standard play in workplace psychological health and safety policies and programs? Is it possible to develop policies and procedures to effectively address workplace psychological health and safety without referring to the Standard?
  • How does implementation of the Standard — or other comprehensive workplace psychological health and safety policy — integrate with work that organizations are already undertaking to protect workers from harassment (including sexual harassment) and violence?
  • What do unions, employees, and employers stand to gain from a cooperative approach to psychological health and safety? Is there evidence that joint strategies are any more or less effective than psychological health and safety or wellness policies unilaterally promulgated by the employer? What are the potential drawbacks of joint strategies?
  • What are some key obstacles to developing effective workplace psychological health and safety policies? What are some promising practices?
  • How can workplace parties evaluate whether their approach to psychological health and safety is effective? What has been the experience of workplaces that have implemented the Standard? Does implementation result in demonstrable improvements to the bottom line, attendance, morale, or employee wellness?
  • What readily available external resources have proven helpful to organizations implementing the Standard?

Additional Information

MATERIALS
Valuable, up-to-date materials and case summaries will be available for downloading from our website. Each audio conference is accompanied by a PDF of concise summaries of the cases discussed.

AUDIO FILES
Audio conference MP3 files are available for $265. Those who have purchased the live audio conference may purchase the corresponding downloadable audio MP3 file for the discounted price of $165.

The recorded MP3 file and materials are available for download one business day after the live audio conference. After purchasing, you will receive an e-mail with instructions on how to access and download the audio conference MP3 file and materials by visiting My Account and selecting Order History. For audio file purchases for upcoming audio conferences, once the MP3 file is available through our site, registrants will receive an update e-mail informing them that the links are now ready.

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