New Workplace Bullying Laws

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New Workplace Bullying Laws

On 1st January 2014, new workplace bullying laws will form part of the Fair Work Act 2009.

The Fair Work Commission is expecting there will be 3,500 plus applications made to the Fair Work Commission  per year under these new provisions.

It is critical for Employers to take appropriate action.

Workers bullied at work will cover workers as defined in the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, including :

a. Contractors

b. Sub-contractors

c. Outworkers

d. Apprentices

e. Trainees

f. Work Experience Students,   and

g. Volunteers.

Applications made for bullying under the provisions of the Fair Work Amendment Act 2013 can work alongside the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

Without exception …..


The No Bullying Policy should outline :

a. Bullying by definition

b. Bullying grievance procedures

c. Handling of the complaint according to the guidelines

d. provision of appropriate documentation

e. Handling of bullying behavior by the business or organisation.

It is estimated that workplace bullying costs the Australian economy between $6bn and $36bn every year and that workplace bullying case costs the employer on average of $20,000 per claim. The maximum penalty that may be imposed on a business or organisation is $51,000 and $10,200 on an individual.

Risk Management Recommendations :

1. Ensure the business or organisation has updated its OHS Programme (OHS Act 2000) to a Work Health and Safety Programme (WHS Act 2011)

2. Ensure there is an appropriate No Bullying Policy.

3. Implement the No Bullying Policy and Procedures through the HR Department and the health and Safety Committee (HSC) or Health and Safety Representative (HSR).

This article was reproduced with the kind permission of our Platinum Partner ISR Services Pty Ltd who are VeriSure’s preferred independent Specialist for Work Health and Safety advice. Please CLICK HERE to contact Jeff Puckeridge directly.

Insurance Implications :

a. Reviewing current Liability programmes is essential.

b. Effecting appropriate Cover which should include; (a) Defending the Action (Legal Costs), (b) Payment for any Damages, and (c) Fines and Penalities.

Action Plan :

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Contact us for an extensive Risk Assessment today.

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