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Getting worse: They’ve sent in psychologists to help Governor-General’s staff

According to CBC he office of the Governor General has called in psychologists to speak to employees following claims of workplace harassment and verbal abuse coming from the top.

The CBC reported last month Gov. General Julie Payette has created a toxic work environment and a culture of fear at Rideau Hall by routinely berating and humiliating staff. Her second-in-command, Assunta Di Lorenzo, is also accused of insulting and bullying employees. More than 20 sources including former employees have told CBC News about harassment at Rideau Hall.

In a memo leaked to CBC News, the human resources department at Rideau Hall notified all staff on Wednesday that two organizational psychologists will hold two virtual meetings with employees next week as an introduction, to be followed by optional, one-on-one phone sessions.

“You can then contact whichever one you choose directly,” reads the memo. “Counselling sessions will be private and confidential.”

A source with direct knowledge of the inner workings of Rideau Hall said the introductory meeting, over Zoom, is also optional. The source expressed concern that employees might not be comfortable having to attend a group meeting in order to get a psychologist’s phone number.

Separately, the Privy Council Office (PCO) has, in a rare move, put the office of the Governor General under review, following CBC’s report, which said waves of staff have left their jobs over concerns for their well-being. The PCO is hiring a third party to do the review, which will involve interviewing current and former employees.

Payette told her staff in a memo that she’s listening to their concerns and called on them to “stay united.”

“Rest assured that I take workplace harassment very seriously and fully support the review of our practices and the continuation of concrete actions to ensure a healthy and safe work environment for everyone, at all times and in all circumstances,” Payette told staff in the memo on July 31.

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