Prepare Now for the New Bullying Laws
As we’ve previously advised, important changes have now been made to the Fair Work Act 2009 regarding workplace bullying. These new provisions will take legal effect from 1 January 2014, so it’s important you understand – and prepare for – these changes now.
Here’s a quick summary of what you need to know:
• Workers who believe they are being bullied can lodge an application directly with the Fair Work Commission (FWC). The FWC then has 14 days to begin dealing with the matter and has the power to issue an order for the bulling to stop.
• The term ‘worker’ has been given the same definition as used in the new, national WH&S laws and includes volunteers, independent contractors, apprentices and all others performing work for your business.
• Interestingly, people engaged in volunteer organisations or employed by sole traders and partnerships are excluded from the new laws.
• Bullying is defined as any situation where a person or group of people repeatedly behave unreasonably towards a worker, and the behaviour creates a risk to health and safety.
• Note that in hearing an application from one of your employees, the Commission must take into account the outcomes of any internal investigations you have already undertaken as well as the availability of any other grievance procedures in your workplace.
Workforce Guardian strongly recommends that employers implement robust, internal processes for dealing with bullying complaints and ensure all managers have received appropriate training. Our HR Consulting services are always available and our team of friendly experts are well-equipped to prepare your business for these significant changes.
Contact the HR Consulting Team at: