Government to hit workplace bullyingA focus on early intervention through the Fair Work Commission has been announced in an effort to assist more quickly Australians being bullied at work.
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Bill Shorten announced the Government’s response to a Parliamentary inquiry into workplace bullying, saying the majority of the 23 recommendations made by the inquiry would be supported.
Mr Shorten said the Government’s response supported measures to adopt a national definition of workplace bullying; promote education and awareness of what constituted workplace bullying; and lead the development of national training standards to improve responses to bullying complaints.
“Bullying and harassment have no place in any Australian workplace,” Mr Shorten said.
“Every Australian who goes to work should be able to come home safe.”
He said the Fair Work Act would be amended to allow an employee who had suffered bullying at work a right to seek assistance through the Fair Work Commission.
“We want to make sure all Australian workplaces are safe, healthy and productive and to adopt a zero tolerance approach to bullying,” he said.
“We heard from those who gave evidence of their personal experiences to the Committee the importance of early intervention in bullying cases, to preserve the employment relationship, to stop bullying from continuing or escalating and to ensure their voices are heard.”
Mr Shorten said other recommendations supported by the Government included Safe Work Australia developing materials for employers to advise on preventing and responding to workplace bullying; and working with the states and territories to develop nationally accredited training for managers and health and safety representatives.
“Supporting workplace leaders and managers to address bullying through prevention, early intervention and improving skills to deal with workplace bullying is vital to changing workplace cultures,” he said.
The parliamentary inquiry’s report, Workplace Bullying “We just want it to stop”, can be accessed at this PS News link.
Edition 349, 19 February 2013