Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Bullying In the Workplace | Safe Work Australia's Code of Practice 2013

When many people think about bullying, they think about a school age child being picked on or teased or a bigger kid stealing another kid's lunch at school, but the fact is that bullying comes in various forms. It involves using intimidation, scare tactics and threats to evoke a certain action or response from another individual. The unfortunate truth is that it is more common in the workplace than you may think. It may involve two co-workers or an employee and a manager. Because of how problematic the issue is for employers today, Australia has implemented the Safe Work Australia Code of Practice 2013 that addresses how employees should respond to bullying.

An Anti-Bullying Document

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First, your company should prepare an anti-bullying document that defines for employees what constitutes bullying or harassment at work. It should be inclusive of all aspects of bullying, including actions performed by both supervisors or managers and co-workers. It should also clearly define what steps the employees should take if they believe they are being bullied at work, and it should address the possible consequences for those who are determined to be guilty of bullying at work. This document should be distributed to all workers and managers once it has been prepared.

Procedures to Follow

Those who work for your company should know and understand what steps they should follow after being bullied at work. The procedures should include the employee making a written statement that fully details the issue and who the bully is. Procedures should also include information about who to file the complaint with and what timeframe should be expected for the company to respond in.

How to Respond to a Complaint

Employees should also know how to respond to a bullying complaint, and the company’s actions should be outlined in the anti-bullying document. The document may include steps that the company may take to investigate the complaint. These steps may include interviewing witnesses and getting their statements. In some cases, an investigation may not be necessary. If an employee is found guilty of bullying, the company should use a clearly outlined list of consequences to deal with the bully if he or she has been found guilty of bullying at work.

Using intimidation or scare tactics in the workplace can create negative feelings amongst co-workers or between co-workers and supervisors, and in some cases, it may have even more pronounced effects on the individual or the company. Under the Code of Practice document issued by the government, employers should take steps to prepare an anti-bullying document, and this document should include a list of procedures to follow when an employee has been bullied or should outline potential or expected responses by the company when a complaint is filed. All employees should be provided with a work environment that allows them to work with dignity and respect, and this anti-bullying document can establish the groundwork to ensure that this happens.

For compliance training regarding Safe Work Australia's policies and practices visit hba learning centres Melbourne.

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