Policy Number


IWK - 823 Cultivating Belonging through a Respectful Workplace-Bullying and Harassment: Reporting Harm


A good anti-bullying policy can mitigate the risk of adverse events occurring, and works to protect both employees and the employer. Employers are responsible for preventing bullying and harassment in the workplace, and a strong policy in this area will ensure the IWK is compliant and reflecting its legal obligations.

Feedback from staff has indicated that the current IWK policies do not prevent harm, especially for staff who belong to IWK identified priority populations (e.g., Black/African Nova Scotian, Indigenous, S2LGBTQAI+, Disabled, New Comer). Microaggressions, racism, ableism, and other forms of prejudice and discrimination were not previously included in policies.  This data on staff feedback can be found in previous Respectful Workplace Surveys at the IWK (2022), BLM Listening Sessions, and the Diversity Census. 

It is understood that from time to time working relationships would require opportunities for repair and reconciliation if events have been perceived to be harmful in nature to any individual. Anyone entering IWK Health spaces have the right to flag any event(s) that has caused them harm. It should be acknowledged that one’s own perception of harm is an individual experience,  contextual in nature and requires immediate action.  

As a Health Care Employer IWK Health acknowledges the need for Culturally Responsive Care for all those entering its spaces. “To approach engagement in a culturally humble manner, we must reflect on the power we hold in our roles. This involves reflecting on personal and cultural privilege as well as understanding Canada’s colonial history − the primary root cause of culturally unsafe experiences of care. Creating environments and relationships which foster cultural safety also implies advocacy for the conditions of health, including working to improve access to care, exposing the social, political, and historical context of health care, and interrupting unequal power relations.”

As a part of the EDIRA steering committee work and the Black Lives Matter Listening Session Summary Document, IWK Health has committed itself to changing the Respectful Workplace Framework, including the identified policy around Bullying and Harassment. The action committee for RW/CoC was created in order to complete this work. This new policy reflects the values, commitments and EDIRA perspective, that the IWK champions.