none

Workplace bullying: government has ‘got it wrong’

31-08-2010
by 
in 
Workplace bullying: government has ‘got it wrong’

 

The federal government decision to give the Fair Work Commission (FWC) the power to deal with complaints about workplace bullying is likely to cause more problems than it solves, says Australia’s leading industry group.

“Bullying is a serious issue, but it is a work health and safety issue and should not be mixed up with industrial relations," said Australian Industry Group Chief Executive Innes Willox.

"There is a lot of misunderstanding of what workplace bullying actually is, Mr Willox said. “Workplace bullying is a problem that primarily falls within the jurisdiction of work health and safety laws, which have a strongly preventative focus, and not industrial laws.

“The Government’s proposal is likely to increase the confusion and increase disputation.”

Mr Willox questioned the type of orders that would be appropriate for an industrial tribunal to issue in respect of bullying complaints from employees.

“Surely not compensation, he said. “If so, the proposal will lead to a raft of speculative claims from employees and a marked deterioration in workplace relations.”

While industry recognises the significant costs and other negative impacts of workplace bullying, this was not an ideal solution. 

"Work health and safety laws, regulations and codes are the most appropriate regulatory approach to address workplace bullying, not the Fair Work Act and the Fair Work Commission,” Mr Willox said.

"Bullying complaints and the high community cost of bullying can best be addressed by a renewed emphasis on prevention.

“Governments need to devote more resources to working with industry groups and other stakeholders to educate employers, employees and the community on what workplace bullying is and how it should be prevented and dealt with. The Government’s proposed approach is not the answer." 

Related news & editorials

  1. 16.07.2018
    16.07.2018
    by      In
    NSW-based Ranger Lifting is set to mark 20 years in business at a brand new facility in Prestons, outside Sydney on Saturday 22nd September 2018.
    The lifting and rigging equipment supplier, which also recently opened a site in Melbourne, will combine the grand opening of its new headquarters, 40km... Read More
  2. 16.07.2018
    16.07.2018
    by      In
    The Australian Made Campaign has revealed the lengths to which some makers of counterfeit goods will go to falsely claim Australian manufacture for their goods, with false claims, a bogus logo and a tortuous import/export route all parts of a recent episode.
    Last month, the campaign’s offices were... Read More
  3. 05.07.2018
    05.07.2018
    by      In
    Technology developed at CSIRO has led to the release of a novel copper ore sorting analyser that promises to dramatically reduce energy and water use by copper miners. The novel analyser is being brought to market through NextOre, a new company created by RFC Ambrian, Advisian Digital and CSIRO.... Read More
  4. 05.07.2018
    05.07.2018
    by      In
    Following its successful export and installation of 12 of its flagship high-power chargers for electric vehicles in Germany as part of the Ionity network, Ionity has now chosen Brisbane company Tritium as its technology partner for the construction of a further 100 high-power charging sites across... Read More