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Human rights policy

The Human Rights Policy was adopted by the board of directors of LifeWorks effective March 6, 2019.




LifeWorks is committed to providing a global working environment that is free of any form of harassment or discrimination based on the grounds enumerated under provincial, federal, state or other Human Rights legislation and guiding principles, including the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. LifeWorks respects the dignity of every person. LifeWorks is firmly committed to providing equal opportunities in the workplace to enable every person to contribute fully. We also value the protection of human rights within the communities in which we operate. This Policy outlines how we will strive to make our workplace more supportive, safe and equitable for everyone.



The purpose of this Policy is to provide guidance and establish expectations for behavior in the workplace as it relates to an individual’s basic and fundamental right to be free from harassment and discrimination.



“Discrimination” means any practice or behavior, whether intentional or not, which has a negative effect on an individual or group based on prohibited grounds (for example, race, ethnicity, political affiliation, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital and family status or disability) unrelated to a person’s abilities. Discrimination may arise as a result of direct, indirect, differential or unequal treatment of an individual or group of individuals.

“Harassment” means improper comment or conduct that a person knows or ought to know would be unwelcome, offensive, embarrassing or hurtful.

“Workplace” is defined broadly to mean any location in which LifeWorks-related work or interactions take place, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Corporate and counseling offices and work sites of LifeWorks, including washrooms, vehicles and any other location where LifeWorks-related work is being conducted;
  • Places where employees or others have gathered as a result of LifeWorks-related responsibilities; and
  • Attendance at a LifeWorks sponsored conference, training or social event.



It is every employee’s responsibility to maintain a work environment that reflects respect for human rights and is free from all discrimination and harassment. As such, this Policy has been approved by the board of directors and applies at every level of the organization to all employees, as well as independent service providers, clients and visitors while attending LifeWorks workplace. This Policy applies when LifeWorks is purchasing the services of others and when LifeWorks is the provider of the services. When working with service providers, we encourage them to uphold these principles and urge them to adopt similar policies within their own business. For LifeWorks employees, this Policy applies to every stage of the workplace relationship (for example, recruitment, selection, compensation, training, promotion and termination). Reference should also be made to the Respectful Workplace Policy for additional information on the prohibition of workplace violence, incident reporting and investigation.

This Policy should be read in conjunction with the following LifeWorks policies and guidelines:

  • Code of Conduct and Ethics
  • Respectful Workplace Policy
  • Recruitment and Selection Guidelines
  • Employment Equity and Accommodation Policy
  • Core Working Hours and Flexible Work Arrangements
  • Learning and Professional Development Support Policy
  • Remote Work Policy
  • Scent Free Workplace Policy

Where this Policy conflicts with another LifeWorks policy, this Policy takes precedence.



LifeWorks will not tolerate, condone or ignore any conduct that is discriminatory or harassing or otherwise compromises an individual’s human rights. Such practices are contrary to LifeWorks core values, including our value of treating others the way we want to be treated, as well as a violation of the law. LifeWorks strives to maintain a culture of understanding and mutual respect for the dignity of each person in the workplace, so that each person feels a valued part of LifeWorks.

International application
We will make best efforts to abide by the legislation pertaining to human rights in the countries where we operate. Where national and international human rights standards differ, we will follow the higher standard. Where they are in conflict, we will adhere to national law while seeking ways to respect international human rights to the greatest extent possible.

Respect for human rights
Employees are expected to uphold and abide by this Policy and shall:

  • Respect at all times the dignity and rights of staff and others
  • Adopt and practice inclusive and diverse workplace programs that are welcoming of every person and group
  • Listen to, consider and learn from others’ views and experiences as you conduct business
  • Evaluate, actively seek to identify, and correct or report any workplace practices that:
    - Appear neutral but may discriminate, directly or indirectly, against an individual or group
    - Impose extra burdens or deny benefits to an individual or group
  • Build a safe and healthy workplace for everyone, both physically and mentally
  • Respect our clients’ privacy and respect their personal information
  • Refrain from behaving in an abusive way towards others, including:
    - Using derogatory comments based on sexual orientation, racial or ethnic characteristics
    - Initiating or spreading hurtful rumors
    - Swearing at someone
    - Using insulting behavior
    - Making physical threats
    - Making unwelcome sexual advances or attention
    - Making threatening gestures or remarks<
    - Telling offensive jokes
  • Report any suspected or actual violation of this Policy to your manager or Human Resources, whether you have witnessed or been subjected to discrimination or harassment
  • Cooperate fully in any investigation of a harassment or discrimination complaint

LifeWorks takes complaints seriously and may investigate a complaint formally or informally, depending upon the circumstances. Steps will be taken based on the findings of the investigation, applicable Human Rights law and policy to address the complaint and prevent future occurrences. To make a complaint, please contact your manager, Human Resources or the Legal Department. Suspected Policy violations can also be reported through the process outlined in the Whistleblower Policy.

No reprisal or retaliatory action will be taken against any employee for raising concerns under this Policy.

An individual with restrictions or limitations resulting from an enumerated ground under applicable Human Rights law may have the right to be accommodated short of undue hardship and is encouraged to speak to their manager or Human Resources to discuss an appropriate accommodation. Employees can also review the Employment Equity and Accommodation Policy.



Employees must comply with all aspects of this Policy and support others in doing so. Employees are responsible for promptly reporting a suspected or actual violation of this Policy, without fear of reprisal, to their manager or Human Resources so that it can be appropriately investigated, addressed and handled. Managers and supervisors have the responsibility to foster an environment where concerns can be immediately shared and to act immediately on observations or allegations of harassment or discrimination.

Employees who fail to comply with this Policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. Consequences may also include an apology, education such as mandatory sensitivity training, counselling, reprimands, suspension, or other sanctions dictated by law.