Back in March 2013 I wrote about the Proposed Bullying in the Workplace Laws. Now that these are in place it is a good time to bring them back into topic. I have seen an increase across a couple of my clients when it has come to claims of workplace bullying. I have successfully managed to keep these complaints informal and resolved internally but the putting out of fires in this way will not work for all organisations.
I came across this great Video that really sets out clear as day what is Workplace Bullying – My suggestion is that everyone should watch it
Sourced from www.workplaceinfo.com.au 19 March 2013 – Proposed new bullying in the workplace laws will potentially give employees ‚ ≤another avenue for complaint’, a leading employers’ organisation has warned. – Steve Cartwright, CEO of the New South Wales Business Chamber, said the new laws could affect employers’ prerogative ‚ ≤to run its business in a lawful and reasonable way’.
It is proposed that matters be listed within 14 days of the complaint being made and the Commission will have the power to issue orders against the employer relating to the complaint,’ Cartwright said.
- There is a concern that complaints will be lodged alleging bullying when performance issues arise or are the subject of planned meetings between the employee and his or her supervisor in an attempt to halt or delay the performance management or planned review,’ he said.
- The Minister’s announcements suggest that the new bullying law will allow an employee to ask the Commission to interfere with an employer’s prerogative to run its business in a lawful and reasonable way, including the right to performance manage employees or apply practises applicable to that management.’
- This could mean that a form of injunction will be applied which will stop the performance management of the complainant until the bullying allegations have been heard and determined.’
- The Commission is also likely to have power to publish its orders to assist in preventing further bullying. This clearly has the potential to cause reputational damage and is something employers would be striving to avoid.’
- Cartwright said it was not clear yet whether a reverse onus of proof would be involved, nor whether employers could recover costs for a defence against frivolous or vexatious claims.
- An additional problem, as we see it, is that an employee could avoid a workplace policy dealing with bullying and internal HR processes associated with an official complaint and subsequent investigation by lodging an application before the Commission seeking the Commission’s involvement and intervention,’ he said.