Liberals seek to tighten workplace harassment rules for businesses

Federal labour rules are in for a regulatory overhaul to crack down on harassment in the workplace - from Parliament Hill to local bank branches.

New legislation being unveiled today is aimed at giving workers and their employers a clear course of action to better deal with allegations of bullying, harassment and sexual harassment.

The changes will merge separate labour standards for sexual harassment and violence and subject them to the same scrutiny and dispute resolution process.

Once passed, the legislation would also allow anyone unhappy with how their dispute is being handled to complain to the federal labour minister, who could step in to investigate.

The Liberals wants the rules to apply to politicians, their staff and other Parliament Hill employees.

Department officials say it could take a year or more before the rules come into effect, since regulations would have to be crafted once the bill receives parliamentary approval.