Home' Australian Automotive Aftermarket Magazine : Australian Automotive Aftermarket e-Zine - Sep13 Contents 46 AUTOMOTIVE AFTERMARKET MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 2013
Employers must ensure they have a policy
and procedure in place to respond to any
bullying claims. The new laws will take effect
on January 1, 2014.
What is workplace bullying?
Workplace bullying or harassment as
defined by the Department of Justice and
Attorney-General (Queensland) Prevention of
Workplace Harassment Code of Practice
2004, is where a person is subjected to
behaviour, other than sexual harassment that:
• Is repeated, unwelcome and unsolicited
• The person considers it to be offensive,
intimidating, humiliating or threatening
• A reasonable person would consider it to
be offensive, humiliating, intimidating or
Workplace bullying can be committed by
any employee, manager, contractor or visitor
to a workplace.
Workplace bullying can include a range of
behaviours ranging from subtle intimidation
to more obvious aggressive tactics, including:
• Abusing a person loudly, generally in the
presence of others
• Severe punishment without justification
• Constant ridicule and being put down
• Leaving offensive email or phone
• Sabotaging a person’s work, for example,
deliberately withholding information,
hiding documents or equipment, not
passing on messages and getting a person
into trouble in other ways
• Humiliating a person through gestures,
sarcasm, criticism and insults, often in
front of customers, management or other
• Spreading gossip or false, malicious
rumours about a person with an intent to
cause the person harm
New anti-bullying laws
The proposed new anti-bullying
amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 have
been delayed and will now take effect from
January 1, 2014 and focus on prevention and
early intervention for victims of workplace
The amendments will permit employees
to take their employer and/or colleagues to
the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to resolve
The FWC will begin dealing with an
application for an order to stop bullying
within 14 days of the application being
The implications for employers may be
significant should they have failed to provide
a safe workplace free of bullying and
harassment. As such, employers should
ensure they are fully aware of their anti-
bullying obligations and implement
appropriate systems to prevent bullying at
work and to minimise the risk of claims.
That being said, if the basis of the
complaint can be explained by the employer
as relating to performance management or
disciplinary action, that being “reasonable
management action taken in a reasonable
way”, the conduct in question may be
What can the FWC order?
If the FWC has determined that bullying
has occurred, the FWC has the power to make
necessary orders to prevent and manage the
bullying within the workplace.
What must be brought to an employer’s
attention is the penalty for failing to follow
the order. The penalty for contravention of an
anti-bullying order can be up to a maximum
of $51,000 for a corporation and $10,200
for an individual.
Implications to your workplace
Employers should anticipate an incursion
of bullying claims from January 1, 2014.
If an employee believes they are being
bullied they can bypass the employer’s
reporting complaint system and immediately
lodge an application with the FWC.
To minimise the risk from being exposed
to these applications, employers should:
• Implement or update workplace policies
to ensure workplace bullying or
harassment is covered, defined and
expected standards of behaviour are
• Ensure a workplace procedure is in place
to manage bullying allegations and
• Ensure all employees, contractors and
managers are trained that any form of
workplace bullying is unacceptable and
know the difference between this and
management taking disciplinary action.
How can we help...
recommends that should you become aware
of, or suspect, workplace bullying or
harassment potentially occurring within your
workplace, you must immediately contact
AAAA Employer Assist for advice on the
process to protect the worker, stop the
bullying and protect your business from
potential significant liabilities.
AAAA Employer Assist has prepared a
workplace bullying protection package
tailored to the needs of AAAA members to
protect them from the potential liabilities
associated with the introduction of this new
legislation for January 1, 2014.
The package will include:
• Applicable workplace policies and
procedures covering all forms of
harassment, workplace bullying, and
• A complaints/grievance procedure
• A step by step guide for conducting
bullying investigations in your workplace
• Detailed information about what is
workplace bullying that can be posted on
to notice boards
• An option to attend webinar or face-to-
face training on workplace bullying
awareness and prevention.
NEW WORKPLACE BULLYING LAWS
– JANUARY 1, 2014
Laws were passed in June 2013 to amend the Fair Work Act 2009 to introduce new anti-bullying measures allowing
an employee to directly bring an action in the Fair Work Commission to stop workplace bullying.
HOW CAN WE ASSIST YOU?
To access this package or for assistance
with any employment related enquiry, contact the
AAAA Employer Assist team on 1300 735 306.
AAAM SEPT 2013:AM MAGAZINE SHELL 5/9/13 2:23 PM Page 46
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