Committee hands down workplace bullying report
The House of Representatives Standing committee on Education and Employment has handed down its long awaited report on workplace bullying.
The Workplace Bullying: “We just want it to stop” report is the culmination of six months of public consultation by the Committee, who visited every State and Territory capital seeking input from the public.
The Committee received over 300 written submissions from individuals and organisations, detailing the ‘enormous human toll’ that workplace bullying takes on people.
The report contains 23 key recommendations that focus on:
- defining what bullying is and is not;
- promoting and strengthening existing legislative and regulatory frameworks;
- ensuring that the requirements of the draft Code of Practice: Managing the Risk of Workplace Bullying are met, with guidance and support provided to employers;
- improving workplace cultures;
- and enhancing tools for the prevention and early resolution of workplace bullyingincidences.
“Workplace bullying is happening far too frequently in Australian workplaces, and occurs in all sectors and industries. We started this inquiry with a focus on examining whether we should introduce a national equivalent of Brodie’s Law,” Committee Chair Amanda Rishworth said.
“We discovered throughout the inquiry that prevention and early intervention is critical. A chief concern of witnesses was the lack of clarity about what to do and where to go for help.”
The Committee has recomdneded that the Federal Government establish a new national advisory service to provide advice, assistance and resolution services to employers and workers.
Federal Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten welcomed the report, saying that the Federal Government will now consider the recommendations ion detail. Mr Shorten said he particularly welcomed the recommendation to adopt a nationwide definition of what constitutes bullying.
“Current methods of addressing workplace bullying can be largely reactive, occurring after workplace relationships are beyond repair. Workplace bullying needs to be resolved proactively before it escalates and requires intervention and prosecution,” Mr Shorten said.
The Committee’s report can be found here