New protections for employees against bullying added to Fair Work Act – but how do you protect your organisation?

Changes to Fair Work Act mean greater protection for employees

There has been a significant increase in workplace bullying complaints in the last few years, particularly around the area of performance management or other situations where there are points of difference between employees and their supervisors. Changes to the Fair Work Act – are quite significant in terms of an employees’ right to redress following workplace bullying.

To protect yourself as an employer, you need to have the right policies and procedures and performance management systems in place.

Changes to the Fair Work  Act will mean that employees will be able to make complaints about bullying directly to Fair Work Commission for an order to stop the bullying. This is the first time in Australian history that individual employees will have a clear statutory right of recourse to seek redress for workplace bullying.

The Commission has the power to make any order it considers appropriate (other than an order for payment of a pecuniary amount) to prevent the worker from being bullied at work.

The Commission may make the following orders against your organisation:

  • The people involved to stop the behaviour
  • Regular monitoring of the employer
  • Compliance with the employer’s workplace bullying policy
  • Provision of training to workers
  • Review of the bullying policy

How can you protect your organisation from these changes to the Fair Work Act?

As an employer it is critical that you:

  • Provide your managers with the skills to conduct performance management sessions and the soft skills to provide constructive feedback
  • Quickly and objectively respond to bullying complaints
  • Have a workplace bullying and grievance policy in place
  • Ensure staff are trained to handle investigations and complaints
  • Be able to demonstrate that the policies and investigation procedures have been followed

If you would like your employees to have the skills to conduct performance management meetings that motivate not infuriate employees or leadership development Ph: 1300 ARESOLVE for a free consultation.

 

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