13. Dezember 2022

Workplace Bullying Laws in Australia

If bullying falls under the Discrimination Act, you can lodge a complaint with the appropriate state or Commonwealth authorities. The Commission may receive complaints and make decisions on workplace matters affecting the public sector, state government and local government officials. If you are being bullied or harassed in the workplace, you should also seek professional support from Lifeline or beyondblue. If you have been harmed (physical or psychological) as a result of bullying, you may be able to file a common law claim for workers` compensation or a claim for damages for personal injury. You should seek legal advice from a private lawyer. Employers must be aware of their responsibility to ensure that the work environment or workplace culture is not hostile from a sexual or racial perspective. Employers should develop and implement targeted practices to address inappropriate behaviour in the workplace and effectively address complaints. If you work in the public sector, state government or local government, you may be able to file a workplace harassment dispute report with the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission. If you are unable to resolve your complaint through your workplace`s complaint procedure, you can file a complaint with an external organisation. You should seek legal advice. If you are a member of a union, you may be able to get help from your union for workplace issues, including workplace harassment and bullying. Employees of organizations covered by the Fair Work Act can apply to the Fair Work Commission for an order to stop bullying. In addition, occupational health and safety legislation requires employers to eliminate or reduce risks to workers` health and safety caused by workplace bullying.

Legitimate comments and advice, including relevant negative comments, from managers and supervisors about an individual`s or group`s job performance or work-related behaviour should not be confused with bullying, harassment or discrimination. The Fair Work Commission also has the ability to receive and deal with complaints of bullying from most workers in the workplace (not state employees or some local government employees). Visit the Fair Work Commission`s anti-bullying page for more details on the grievance process and what can be done. As of November 11, 2021, the Fair Work Commission`s responsibility to stop harassment will be expanded to include orders to stop sexual harassment in the workplace where there is a risk of future harm. Most workplaces have an informal or formal process for reporting workplace bullying. You should consult your workplace`s bullying prevention policy for information on how to file a complaint. Employers have a common law duty to take reasonable care of the health and safety of their employees, as well as additional obligations under federal and state or territorial health and safety laws. An employer`s duty of care to its employees can be violated if bullying or harassment (including sexual harassment) occurs in the workplace. Employers should be aware of the obligations set out in the relevant health and safety legislation in each state and territory. You are subject to national anti-bullying laws if you: Many people call bullying harassment or discrimination. However, bullying must not be illegal under federal or state anti-discrimination laws unless it is associated with or based on one of the characteristics covered by those laws, such as the person`s age, gender, race, or disability.

Everyone has the right to work in an environment free from bullying, harassment, discrimination and violence. Under anti-discrimination legislation, it is illegal to treat a person less favourably on the basis of certain protected characteristics such as a person`s sex, sexual orientation, race, disability or age. Examples of illegal acts may include harassment or intimidation of a person. Workplace anti-discrimination law is set forth in federal and state laws. There is specific legislation on sexual harassment, racial hatred and harassment of persons with disabilities. Bullying in the workplace is contrary to health and safety laws in South Australia. For more information on what bullying is and what it is not, and how to file a workplace bullying complaint in South Australia, visit Safework SA`s bullying page. Some of these features are also covered by the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). Some state and territorial laws protect individuals from discrimination based on additional personal characteristics.

For more information, see the Quick Start Guide to Australia`s Discrimination Laws. Workplace bullying occurs when a person or group of people tells you or does things to you in the workplace that: This responsibility is set out in federal and state anti-discrimination laws and the Fair Work Act of 2009 (Cth). Taken together, they make certain types of workplace behavior illegal. If you fall under national anti-harassment laws and there is a risk that bullying will continue, you can apply to the Fair Work Commission for an order to stop the bullying. Once an order has been placed, there are significant penalties for non-compliance. The Fair Work Commission cannot order financial compensation to the employee. Under occupational health and safety legislation, employers and employees are required to comply with all measures to promote occupational health and safety. This obligation requires employers to eliminate or reduce risks to the health and safety of workers caused by workplace bullying. The Sex Discrimination Act 1984 prohibits harassment in the workplace by employers, employees and other “workplace participants” such as partners, commission agents and contract workers. Sexual harassment is broadly defined as unwanted sexual behaviour that a reasonable person would expect to offend, humiliate or intimidate the harassed person. Australia has national anti-harassment laws that allow workers who have been bullied to appeal to the Fair Work Commission to stop the bullying. If the bullying is based on discriminatory grounds such as age, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity, it may fall under the Discrimination Act.

Employers also need to be proactive against hostile behavior that may be ingrained in workplace culture. Examples of a potentially hostile work environment are when racist or sexually rude conversations, innuendo, or offensive jokes become part of accepted culture. An employee may complain about such behaviour as harassment, even if the behaviour in question was not specifically directed against him. The Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth) protects individuals from discrimination in the workplace on the basis of religion, political opinion, national origin, nationality, social origin, medical history, criminal record or trade union activities. For more information, see the fact sheet Other areas of discrimination in the workplace. Employers can be held liable for bullying their employees. This is called “vicarious liability.” This website deals with bullying and harassment in the workplace. Information on sexual harassment in the workplace is available here. The Fair Work Amendment Act 2013 defines workplace bullying as repeated inappropriate behaviour by a person towards an employee that poses a health and safety risk. The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 prohibits harassment in the workplace because of or in connection with a person`s disability or an employee`s disability.

Workplace bullying is repeated inappropriate behaviour that poses a risk to occupational health and safety. As an employer, you must prevent discrimination, harassment or bullying in the workplace. Members of the armed forces are not covered by these laws. ReachOut.com provides information to youth about bullying in the workplace, including how to identify bullying behaviours and get help. Workers are subject to these anti-bullying laws, not just employees, the definition of who is an employee is broader than who is an employee and includes other workers such as volunteers, contractors, subcontractors, outside workers, agency workers, interns, interns and interns. If you are an apprentice or trainee, you can file a complaint with the Ministry of Education and Training (DET). Bullying can include verbal or physical abuse such as yelling, yelling, or abusive language. It can also involve subtle psychological abuse, such as assigning impossible tasks to employees or intentionally changing work schedules to harass an employee. All employers have a responsibility to ensure that their employees and those who request it are treated fairly.

It can be difficult to give employees negative feedback during a formal performance review or to advise employees on their job performance. Managers should conduct these conversations sensitively, but they should not shirk their responsibility to provide full and open feedback to employees.