New workplace violence legislation impacting Saskatchewan employers



As an employer, having a workplace violence policy and prevention plan helps ensure your people are aware of the risks they face in their role, the measures they can take to prevent violent incidents from occurring, and the required steps should a violent incident arise.

Until now in Saskatchewan, having a workplace violence policy and prevention plan in place has only been a requirement for workplaces in prescribed high-risk industries like health care, law enforcement, and retail premises that are open late. However, on May 17, 2024, changes to the occupational health and safety provisions of The Saskatchewan Employment Act came into effect, requiring all provincially-regulated Saskatchewan workplaces to implement a violence policy and prevention plan.

Top elements to consider in your workplace Policy Statement on Violence and Prevention plan

The Saskatchewan Government has published a guideline for employers for developing a Policy Statement on Violence and Prevention plan (PSPP). Employers are encouraged to refer to this Employer’s Guide for Developing a Violence Policy Statement and Prevention Plan when developing and implementing their PSPP.

To help get you started, we’ve outlined below a few of the key elements employers should be mindful of when developing their PSPP, based on the Saskatchewan Government’s guidelines. This list of key elements is only intended to act as an introductory guide for employers. This list is not exhaustive nor does it cover all content required by law. We encourage you to tailor your PSPP to your specific industry and workplace, and remind you to review legislation and regulation to ensure your PSPP is compliant. For more information, please visit:

Payworks pro tip: Need some help developing your PSPP and making sure you’re covering all of your legislative bases to ensure compliance? Our HR Advisory Services solution gives you direct access to a network of HR, legal, and financial professionals who are experts in Canadian labour legislation. Tap into the network for support and guidance in understanding your legal requirements as an employer to ensure you stay compliant and avoid costly penalties.

1. Statement of employer commitment

The policy statement must clearly explain the employer’s commitment to minimize or eliminate the risk of violence in the workplace.

2. Identification of risk

Employers are required to perform a risk assessment to identify any positions, locations, and situations that can pose a risk to their staff.

3. Procedures for informing workers

In the policy, employers must describe the procedure(s) they will use to inform their workers about the nature and extent of violent incidents that could occur and about persons who have been violent at their workplace.

4. Preventive measures to minimize risk

This section should outline the preventative measures the employer has or will put in place to eliminate or reduce the identified risks.

5. Measures following a violent incident

Employers must have procedures in place that define the steps to take following an incident. These procedures should enable workers to report any incidents of violence, and include guidance on how to document the incident, and measures and recommendations for employee assistance post-incident.

Payworks pro tip: Through HR Advisory Services, employers can offer up to three hours of counselling sessions per employee per calendar year to help them cope with personal or work-related challenges. For an additional fee, employers can also leverage Critical Incident Stress Debriefing, which provides timely and relevant support to employees when a critical incident occurs, like an armed robbery or the sudden and unexpected death of a colleague. This service offers access to a network of counsellors across Canada that can provide on-site or virtual support within 24-72 hours of the incident, with the goal of minimizing the negative effects that can arise from a traumatic experience.

6. Employee training

Employers are obligated to provide a training program to all employees who are, or are likely to be, exposed to violence in the workplace.

7. Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB) claims

If an employee sustains an injury, consults a physician, or attends counselling after a violent workplace incident, a report needs to be submitted by the employer (E1 Form) and the employee (W1 Form) to the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board.

8. Availability of the violence PSPP

The PSPP must be readily available to employees, and be stored in a convenient and easy-to-find location where employees can access and view it without asking permission.

Payworks pro tip: Including your workplace violence PSPP in an employee handbook is a great way to ensure the information is easily accessible to employees. Payworks clients using HR Advisory Services have the opportunity add on an Employee Policy Handbook at a preferred price. The Employee Policy Handbook is developed by a certified HR professional and can be configured to meet your unique business needs. Take the legwork out of policy development by leveraging a comprehensive template that addresses topics related to conduct, employee benefits, health and safety, and more!

9. Revisions

The PSPP must be reviewed every three years or if there is a change that may affect the health and safety of employees, like extended operating hours that have employees working on-site after dark.

Policy-making made easy with HR Advisory Services

Labour legislation is always changing, and trying to make sense of the regulations (not to mention implementing the necessary changes!) can be confusing and time-consuming. When you don’t have all the answers, you can connect with professionals who do through HR Advisory Services. Gain clarity on new or existing legislation and how it might impact your obligations as an employer. Get access to expert advice from designation-holding HR pros, CPAs, and legal counsel who will provide guidance on the actions you need to take to remain compliant.

Book a call with the Payworks Sales Team to learn how HR Advisory Services can help you and your team stay on top of important legislative changes:


This article is produced by Payworks as an information service. It is not intended to substitute professional legal, regulatory, tax, or financial advice. Readers must rely on their own advisors, as applicable, for such advice.

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