Stopping workplace bullying harassment sexual harassment – what can you do?

Stopping workplace bullying harassment sexual harassment, firstly it is important to accept that you can’t stop it 100%, but what you can do is take all reasonable steps to reduce the risk of workplace bullying harassment and sexual harassment to your employees and your business.

Workplace bullying, harassment and sexual harassment is damaging to those who experience it, those who witness it and can be very damaging and costly to the organisation.

Reasonable steps to reduce the risk

Stopping workplace bullying harassment sexual harassment is something that all organisations should aspire to, here are some suggestions;

  1. Have policies and procedures in place that clearly set out the behavioural expectations of your organisation. Policies and procedures alone will not stop the bullies and harassers they will however give you the mechanisms and ammunition to deal with complaints and grievances.
  2. Conduct training that re-enforces your policies and procedures and the behavioural expectations of your organisation. Once again training alone is not a magic pill but combined with your policies and procedures it will give you further mechanisms and ammunition to deal with complaints and grievances.
  3. Have a trusted reporting mechanism in place, make sure the key parties, managers, HR managers and team members or other delegated persons understand their role when a complaint or grievance is raised and how they should respond effectively. This may require training in how to respond to and manage complaints and grievances.Your employees must be able to have faith in the process, if complaints are not treated seriously and acted on in a timely manner employees will lose faith in the reporting process and it may be seen that bad behaviour is tolerated.
  4. Take action if something comes to your notice even if it hasn’t been officially reported. Everyone in a workplace has a duty of care to take all reasonable step to protect the health and safety of others, (see the Work Health and Safety Act sections 19 – 29 on duties and sections 30 – 33 on penalties – http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/whasa2011218/)An organisation or individual may be found to have breached the Act and it’s Duty of Care if it does not take all reasonable steps to eliminate and/or respond to workplace bullying harassment or sexual harassment and if that breach puts a person (the victim) at a risk of death or serious injury or illness (such as depression, anxiety, PTSD) serious consequences can follow by way of action under the act or being sued for negligence.
  5. Have an effective complaint and grievance investigation process in place. Ensure that matters are investigated in a timely, professional and fair manner to all involved. If the matter is complex and you don’t feel that you have internal expertise or experience consider outsourcing to an expert.
  6. Have an understand procedural fairness, the rules of evidence, effective interviewing technique, report writing requirements at law, the standard or proof in civil matters and the test applied at the Fair Work Commission in regard to unfair dismissal it might be worth considering engaging the services of a qualified and experienced workplace investigator. If you don’t have an on-going relationship with a workplace investigator I suggest you have a look at this article – http://awpti.com.au/workplace-investigator/

If you organisation is not able to tick ALL the above boxes;

  1. Check your policies and procedures, if necessary, update or re-draft the existing ones or draft new ones.
  2. Review your training;
    * All employees and managers should undertake bullying, harassment and sexual harassment training.
    * All managers should undertake reasonable management action, performance management and complaint handling training
    * All HR professionals should undertake complaint handling and investigation training.
  3. Review your reporting mechanism, do you have one?, is it effective?, do the employees trust and use it?
  4. Review your processes in regard to the reporting of matters should they become known
  5. Review your complaint and grievance investigation process, do you have the necessary internal expertise or experience or the time to deal with complex matters*.
  6. Call an expert.

* On complex matter, in my opinion all workplace bullying harassment sexual harassment complaints and grievances should be treated as complex matter, if they are not at the start they usually end up being that way by the time the matter is concluded.

If you take the actions listed above, while never been able to guarantee that you have eliminated bullying harassment or sexual harassment in your workplace, you can say that you have taken all reasonable steps.

AWPTI is able to help you at every step of the way with;
HR support – http://awpti.com.au/hr-support/
Training for managers – http://awpti.com.au/management-training/  staff – http://awpti.com.au/employee-training/ and HR team members – http://awpti.com.au/investigation-training/

We are currently offering 25% off the cost of all training programs for courses booked by organisations before the end of the financial year. Courses can be undertake at any time within the next 12 months

We also offer a range of investigation services that will ensure that complaints and grievances are dealt with in a timely and professional manner.

The author Phil O’Brien is a highly experienced and skilled workplace investigator and trainer who can take the stress out of conducting workplace investigations into bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination and other forms of misconduct.

You can contact me on 02 9674 4279 or phil@awpti.com.au

This is general information only. It does not replace advice from a qualified workplace investigator in your state or territory.  It is recommended that should you encounter complaints in the workplace that you seek advice from suitability qualified and experienced workplace investigators.

Stopping workplace bullying harassment sexual harassment – AWPTI – workplace investigation Sydney and through-out NSW, QLD and Victoria. Workplace training national wide
Misconduct investigations, bullying investigations, harassment investigations & sexual harassment investigations, complaint investigations, grievance investigations, discrimination investigations

www.awpti.com.au
http://awpti.com.au/investigations/

 

Workplace Harassment Training Sydney NSW

Workplace Harassment Training Sydney NSW – AWPTI can assist you with training sessions that address Workplace Harassment and Sexual Harassment

Incident and complaints of Harassment and Sexual Harassment in the workplace are commonplace and it is recommended that employees respond in a timely and professional manner. Employers have a duty of care to provide a workplace that is free from Harassment and Sexual Harassment. Having effective and up to date training in place can assist you to satisfy your duty of care.

Harassment is when someone is made to feel humiliated, offended or intimidated because of their race, colour, national or ethnic origin, sex, disability, sexual preference or some other characteristic specified under anti-discrimination or human rights legislation.

Harassment can range from serious to a less serious nature. It may be a number of incidents or a single act.  Harassment can be conducted by one person or a group of people. It may be verbal or nonverbal and it may be subtle or openly hostile.

Harassment does not have to be directed towards a person to be considered harassment.  For example a racially hostile working environment where offensive jokes and taunts are part of the accepted culture is a form of harassment.  A person working in such an environment has the right to complain, even if the conduct in question was not specifically targeted at them.

Sexual harassment is any unwanted or unwelcome sexual behaviour which makes a person feel offended or humiliated. It has nothing to do with mutual attraction or consensual behaviour.

COURSE AIMS

The session aims to provide practical skills to help enable your staff and managers to recognise what is and what is not harassment and sexual harassment and to offer strategies to deal with harassment and sexual harassment in the workplace.

 LEARNING OUTCOMES

At the end of the workshop participants should be able to:

  • Understand and identify what is and what is not harassment and sexual harassment in the workplace
  • To gain an insight in to why people harass and sexually harass and what you can do about it
  • Provide examples of workplace harassment and sexual harassment.
  • Understand the legal ramifications of harassment and sexual harassment in the workplace

Workplace Harassment Training Sydney NSW

The course is divided in six parts;

Part One: What is workplace harassment and sexual harassment

Part Two: What should you do

Part Three: Behaviours in the workplace

Part Four: Power Emotion and Self Control

Part Five: Legal Responsibilities

The course can be run and a time and location to suit you and your employees, a method preferred by a number of our clients is to run it as a ‘Lunch & Learn’ session.

AWPTI can also assist you with training sessions that address Workplace bullying and discrimination. Check out our blog and other pages for more information about workplace bullying and how we can assist with bullying investigations –  http://awpti.com.au/investigations/

If you would like more details, please contact us – enquiries@awpti.com.au

AWPTI – Workplace training Sydney and through-out NSW  and national wide
Misconduct training, bullying training, harassment training & sexual harassment training

www.awpti.com.au

Workplace Bullying Training Sydney NSW

Workplace Bullying Training Sydney NSW – AWPTI can assist you by providing engaging and informative workplace training courses that address workplace bullying.

Incidents and complaints of bullying in the workplace are commonplace and it is recommended that employees respond in a timely and professional manner. Employers have a duty of care to provide a workplace that is free from bullying. Having effective and up to date training in place can assist you to satisfy your duty of care.

Workplace bullying is any behaviour that is repeated, systematic and directed towards an employee or group of employees that a reasonable person, having regard to the circumstances, would expect to victimise, humiliate, undermine, or threaten and which creates a risk to health and safety.

COURSE AIMS

The session aims to provide practical skills to help enable your staff and managers to recognise what is and what is not workplace bullying and to offer strategies to deal with bullying in the workplace.

The session will also provide participants with information to understand what is and what is not workplace reasonable management action.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

At the end of the workshop participants should be able to:

  • Understand and identify what is and what is not bullying in the workplace
  • Understand and identify what is and what is not reasonable management action
  • To gain an insight in to why people bully and what you can do about it
  • Provide examples of workplace bullying.
  • Understand the legal ramifications of bullying in the workplace

The course is divided in six parts;

Part One: What is workplace bullying

Part Two: What is reasonable management action

Part Three: What should you do

Part Four: Behaviours in the workplace

Part Five: Power Emotion and Self Control

Part Six: Legal Responsibilities

The course can be run and a time and location to suit you and your employees, a method preferred by a number of our clients is to run it as a ‘Lunch & Learn’ session.

AWPTI can also assist you with training sessions that address Workplace harassment, sexual harassment and discrimination. Check out our blog and other pages for more information about workplace bullying and how we can assist with bullying investigations –  http://awpti.com.au/investigations/

If you would like more details, please contact us – enquiries@awpti.com.au

AWPTI – Workplace training Sydney and through-out NSW  and national wide, interesting and informative Workplace training courses
Misconduct training, bullying training, harassment training & sexual harassment training

www.awpti.com.au

 

Social media case

Social media case – Recently at the Fair Work Commission in the case of Renton v Bendigo Health Care Group [2016] FWC 9089, it was highlighted that employers need to consider the appropriateness of penalties and having policies in place when considering a decision to terminate employees for misconduct and is a reminder about the use and abuse of social media in the workplace

Link to case – https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/decisionssigned/html/2016fwc9089.htm

In the Renton case, an employee of Bendigo Health Care Group was found to have been unfairly dismissed despite ‘tagging’ two of his colleagues in an offensive and sexually explicit video post on Facebook and on the same day had also left blobs of sorbolene cream and tissues on the desk of a colleague tagged in the video.

That colleague complained about the two incidents and the employer dismissed the employee for serious misconduct.

Commissioner Bissett found that the employee had:

  • negatively affected the health and safety of colleagues
  • engaged in conduct that had the potential to damage the employer’s reputation
  • exposed his colleagues to humiliation and ridicule at work.

The Commissioner stated,

“Whilst Mr Renton is apologetic, he has displayed a lack of insight into the effect of his post on his colleagues – even at the hearing of his application he failed to appreciate that it caused real offence. To this extent, I am not sure the basis of his apologies. He compounded his Facebook misdeed by placing blobs of sorbolene cream on Mr Christie’s desk. That act was boorish.

Having said this, however, I consider, on fine balance, that the decision to terminate Mr Renton’s employment was harsh in that it was disproportionate to the gravity of the misconduct.”

Mr Renton has no history of misconduct at work. Whilst it is apparent he and Mr Christie have exchanged ‘jokes’ in the past, not dissimilar to the sorbolene incident, this has gone unremarked by either of them, their colleagues or management (if it was aware of these ‘jokes’). Further, the Facebook posting and its naming of work colleagues and ‘work’ is a one-off incident. Mr Renton had not drawn such connections in the past. Whilst Mr Renton’s insight into the incident may be questioned it can only be hoped he has learnt from his conduct. Further, there was no suggestion that the incident had any adverse effect on any other aspect of Mr Renton’s work.

Commissioner Bissett held that the behaviour was a one-off nature and that there had been a lack of previous misconduct. Having found the dismissal of the employee to be harsh and as a result Mr Renton was unfairly dismissed.

Commissioner Bissett considered that the incident was an isolated one and his employment history was otherwise spotless.

Getting termination right.

This decision suggests that employers must consider a number of issues when deciding to terminate an employee such as:

  1. The nature of the incident
  2. Past behaviours and employment history, including length of service
  3. If policies are in place and did the behaviour breach the policy
  4. Are options other than termination more appropriate.
  5. Does the punishment fit the crime, as matter also addressed in Dawson v Qantas Airways Limited (2016) FWC 8249 – http://awpti.com.au/fwc-unfair-dismissal/

It is recommended that employers have in place

  1. A clearly written social media policy
  2. Training that clearly outlines the contents of the policy so that employees understand the behavioural expectations of the employer
  3. Investigate matters of this nature thoroughly and impartially before making final decisions.

AWPTI – workplace investigations Sydney and through-out NSW, QLD and Victoria. Workplace training national wide
Workplace investigations misconduct, bullying, harassment & sexual harassment investigations

www.awpti.com.au
http://awpti.com.au/investigations/

The author Phil O’Brien is a highly experienced and skilled workplace investigator and trainer who can take the stress out of conducting workplace investigations into bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination and other forms of misconduct.

You can contact me on 02 9674 4279 or phil@awpti.com.au

This is general information only. It does not replace advice from a qualified workplace investigator in your state or territory.  It is recommended that should you encounter complaints in the workplace that you seek advice from suitability qualified and experienced workplace investigator

Social media – unfair dismissal

Singh V Aerocare Flight Support Pty Ltd [2016] FWC 6186

Social media unfair dismissal. A decision by the Fair Work Commission has outlined the issues relating to employees making public comments on Facebook outside of work hours however it has also highlighted the necessity for employer to ensure that matters such as this are properly investigating before jumping to a conclusion.

Mr Nirmal Singh was a casual baggage handler employed by Aerocare Flight Support, an aviation ground handling and services company. It is important to note that Mr Singh possessed an Airport Security Identification Card and was authorised to work within the restricted security-sensitive areas of Perth Airport.

Mr Singh was dismissed by Aerocare after it was discovered by co-workers that he had made posts on Facebook that appeared may have expressed radical views. In one post, Mr Singh linked to an article posted by an Australian Islamic group and included his own commentary, being the words “We all support ISIS.”

Prior to his employment being terminated, Mr Singh attended a meeting with Aerocare management who alleged that his Facebook posts were contrary to the Aerocare social media policy and, given the nature of his job, represented a security risk. Mr Singh claimed that the posts had been sarcastic, that he was opposed to ISIS and extremism, and he was sorry that his posts had been misinterpreted.

That meeting was adjourned to allow Aerocare to review their notes and consider Mr Singh’s explanation. Approximately 10 minutes later, the meeting recommenced and Mr Singh was informed that he would not be offered any further shifts and his employment was effectively terminated.

Mr Singh subsequently made an application to the FWC for unfair dismissal.

In the decision, Commissioner Hunt confirmed that Mr Singh’s post was in breach of Aerocare’s social media policy. It stated that “[it is not] acceptable for employees in the relevant airport environment to post what appears to be support for a terrorist organisation and explain it away as sarcasm, comedy or satire. Mr Singh did a very stupid thing.” The FWC also stated that if Mr Singh had in fact confirmed that he was a supporter of ISIS, it would have no hesitation in finding that the Facebook post was a valid reason for dismissal.

Commissioner Hunt commented that:

  • It was unsatisfactory that Aerocare had failed to properly investigate the complete news feed of Mr Singh’s Facebook account. If time and attention had been taken to review the news feed, Aerocare would have discovered that Mr Singh was not, in fact, a supporter of ISIS.
  • Mr Singh could have been invited to explain his recent Facebook posts to Aerocare, which would have taken no more than 1-2 hours. Such an explanation would have satisfied Aerocare that Mr Singh was not an ISIS supporter. He was not invited to do so.
  • The 10 minute break during the disciplinary meeting was not satisfactory, as it was impossible during that time for Aerocare to have adequately considered all of the issues discussed in the meeting.
  • It would have been appropriate for Aerocare to have continued Mr Singh’s suspension, which would have allowed management to fully consider the issues and to make further inquiries with respect to Mr Singh’s Facebook account.
  • Prior to the meeting, Aerocare decision makers had closed their minds to any explanation from Mr Singh, and they had not considered any sanction other than terminating his employment.

Commissioner Hunt found that there was no valid reason for Mr Singh’s termination and his claim for unfair dismissal was upheld. Mr Singh was awarded compensation the equivalent of 8 weeks’ pay, however that amount was reduced by 40% because of Mr Singh’s misconduct in breaching Aerocare’s social media policy.

This case highlights the importance of conducting through and timely investigations into conduct that appear to be improper or in breach of company policies especially those relating to comments made by employees online and in social media. Sarcasm and satire can be difficult to detect in text-based communication, it is crucial to investigate the context in which those comments are made.

When considering whether an employee’s conduct warrants dismissal, employers must ensure that the employee is afforded procedural fairness in that any explanation provided by the employee it taken into account before the final decision is made and if there any alternative sanctions, other than dismissal, that might be appropriate. Failure to do so may unnecessarily expose the employer to a claim for unfair dismissal.

AWPTI can assist you with full investigation services – http://awpti.com.au/investigations/

AWPTI – workplace investigations in Sydney and through-out NSW, QLD and Victoria. Workplace training national wide
Workplace investigations – misconduct, bullying, harassment & sexual harassment investigations

www.awpti.com.au
http://awpti.com.au/investigations/

If your organisation is encountering these types of issues and you are not sure what to do, I recommend that you contact an expert for assistance with training and potential investigations.

The author Phil O’Brien is a highly experienced and skilled workplace investigator and trainer who can take the stress out of conducting workplace investigations into bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination and other forms of misconduct.

You can contact me on 0409 078 322 or phil@awpti.com.au

This is general information only. It does not replace advice from a qualified workplace investigator in your state or territory.  It is recommended that should you encounter complaints in the workplace that you seek advice from suitability qualified and experienced workplace investigation

social media unfair dismissal

Big IR fines proposed

Employers are being urged to ensure that they review their efforts to comply with industrial instruments and the National Employment Standards, in light of big IR fines proposed following the introduction of a Fair Work Amendment Bill to Parliament last week.

The Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017 proposes increasing fines 10-fold – to more than $500k – for “deliberate and systematic” IR breaches, and it will also mean companies and franchisors will be held liable for breaches by subsidiaries and franchisees where they knew or ought to have known about contraventions and didn’t prevent them.

The Fair Work Ombudsman will have powers similar to those held by regulators such as ASIC and the ACCC in being able to compel individuals to attend interviews, and override privilege against self-exposure to penalties.

The proposed legislation is not targeted just at franchisors, all employers to ensure they’re covering their bases as most prosecutions generally involve multiple breaches, penalties often come to hundreds of thousands of dollars. This could now become millions where deliberate breaches are concerned.

AWPTI – workplace investigations in Sydney and through-out NSW, QLD and Victoria. Workplace training national wide
Workplace investigations – misconduct, bullying, harassment & sexual harassment investigations

Swearing in the workplace is it a sackable offence?

While it may be argued that swearing has become more acceptable in general use, swearing in the workplace may not be.

It is important to note that swearing at work may constitute bullying, harassment or discrimination depending on the circumstances.

What do employers need to consider when deciding if they should or are able to take disciplinary action regarding this are;

  • The culture of the workplace, it might be argued that swearing could be more common and or acceptable in a factory or a mine site than in a corporate office and therefore this can will affect the expectations of the employees.
  • The nature of the offence insofar as what was said and to who.
  • The level of offence taken by those subject to the swearing, was it directed at a person or persons or as a general vent.
  • Was it part of a pattern of behaviour
  • Is there a policy or section of a Code of Conduct that outlaws swearing in the workplace?
  • Your policies and your Code of Conduct are the rules, the law in your organisation, they must clearly set out the behavioural expectations for all employees. Do you have them in place?
  • Has swearing been allowed or not in the past, history is very important as a consistent attitude must be shown, one rule for all, all the time.
  • It is equally important that employees found breaching any rules against swearing at work are also treated with consistency.
  • Has there been training conducted outlining the behavioural expectations.
  • Is there a system of recorded warning for breaches?
  • The history of the alleged wrong doer is important, in this a one off, is the employee general well behaved and productive.
  • Does the punishment fit the crime?

The Fair Work Commission has in the past found that an employer was justified in dismissing a worker who swore at his supervisor on the basis that he had been previously warned in writing not to use inappropriate language at work.

But the Commission went on to say it would not have found in favour of the employer if there had been evidence other employees had acted in a similar manner with less or no disciplinary action.

In another case, the Commission found in favour of an employee who was sacked for sending an abusive text message to a colleague during protected industrial action and ordered reinstatement.

The Commission found that while there was a valid reason to terminate the employee, it was disproportionate insofar as it was inconsistent with the approach taken in other similar incidents. Evidence before the Commission suggested there was a culture of workplace swearing, and that previous instances had not been dealt with by dismissal.

If your organisation is encountering these types of issues and you are not sure what to do, I recommend that you contact an expert for assistance with training and potential investigations.

AWPTI – workplace investigations in Sydney and through-out NSW, QLD and Victoria. Workplace training national wide
Workplace investigations misconduct, bullying, harassment & sexual harassment investigations

www.awpti.com.au
http://awpti.com.au/investigations/

The author Phil O’Brien is a highly experienced and skilled workplace investigator and trainer who can take the stress out of conducting workplace investigations into bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination and other forms of misconduct.

You can contact me on 0409 078 322 or phil@awpti.com.au

This is general information only. It does not replace advice from a qualified workplace investigator in your state or territory.  It is recommended that should you encounter complaints in the workplace that you seek advice from suitability qualified and experienced workplace investigators.

 

Complaint handling

Complaint handling can be a difficult part of HR, what to do, what approach to take, how do you decide?

Getting it wrong when it comes to handling complaints such as workplace bullying, harassment or sexual harassment can be a very costly exercise and can end up in court.

It is important to decide the following;

  1. What is the complaint about
  2. What should I do
  3. How will I do it.
  4. Is it a disciplinary matter?

AWPTI can assist you and take the stress out of complaint handling in three ways

  1. We provide free of charge a Complaint Analysis Chart that will help you to work out what course of action is the most appropriate. If you would like a copy of the chart go to our home page, scroll down and fill in the request box. http://awpti.com.au/
  2. We can provide you with training in relation to complaint handling and investigations. http://awpti.com.au/investigation-training/
  3. We can provide you with full investigation services to take the stress out of dealing with complaints.http://awpti.com.au/investigations/

Contact us to find out how we can help you and your business

AWPTI – workplace investigations in Sydney and through-out NSW, QLD and Victoria. Workplace training national wide
Workplace investigations misconduct, bullying, harassment & sexual harassment investigations

www.awpti.com.au
http://awpti.com.au/investigations/

Complaint handling

Vicarious liability under Australian law

The doctrine of vicarious liability effectively serves to render employers liable for the wrongful acts of their employees in so far as those acts are committed in the course or scope of their employment. Generally, if it can be said that the employment relationship created both the “opportunity” and the “occasion” for a wrongful act to take place, the employer will be held liable. This was recently discussed in the High Court in the matter of  Prince Alfred College Incorporated v ADC [2016] HCA 37 a matter involving sexual assault

Previous cases have also been decided by reference to the sufficiency of connection between the wrongdoing and the responsibilities of the employee and by the identification of material circumstances or “features” common to certain kinds of cases.

The courts’ focus has generally been to look at the extent to which the employment relationship enabled or facilitated the commission of the wrongdoing.

The “relevant approach”

Drawing from previous judgements, the High Court prescribed the adoption of what it described as “the relevant approach”. According to the relevant approach, the court must consider any special role that the employer has assigned to the employee and the position in which the employee is thereby placed in relation to the victim.

The HCA then went on to state that in determining whether the apparent performance of such a role may be said to give the occasion for the wrongful act, particular features may be taken into account. Clearly contemplating crimes of a sexual nature, it asserted that such features include authority, power, trust, control and the ability to achieve intimacy with the victim.

Applying the relevant approach to the case before it, the HCA stated the appropriate enquiry was whether the employees role as housemaster placed him in a position of power and intimacy in relation to the victim, such that his apparent performance of his role as housemaster gave the occasion for the wrongful acts, and that because he misused or took advantage of his position, the wrongful acts could be regarded as having been committed in the course or scope of his employment.

Significance of the case

This case offers a crucial lesson to employers who might not otherwise realise that they may be held liable for the unlawful acts of their employees, even where they themselves are not at fault.

The HCA has affirmed that each case must be determined on its individual facts and merits. The consequence is that considerable uncertainty and expensive litigation is certain to ensue in cases of this kind.

Employers should ensure that the parameters of their employees’ roles are well defined to minimise the risk of liability arising for acts said to occur in the course of an employee’s duties.

The types of scenarios where employers may be particularly vulnerable to a claim of vicarious liability include schools (and especially boarding houses), hospitals, care facilities, disability clinics and many more (keeping in mind the fact that such claims are not limited to circumstances involving sexual assault or even criminal activity in general).

In order to try and minimise their risk, employers should check:

  1. that their policies and employment agreements, including codes of conduct, specifically prohibit sexual harassment; and
  2. that appropriate training is conducted
  3. Have a trust reported mechanism in place and investigate matter thoroughly when reported.
  4. Have a proactive investigation mechanism in place when matters or suspicions come to light.

AWPTI can provide you with training and investigation services to help protect you business

AWPTI – workplace investigations in Sydney and through-out NSW, QLD and Victoria. Workplace training national wide
Workplace investigations misconduct, bullying, harassment & sexual harassment investigations

www.awpti.com.au
http://awpti.com.au/investigations/
http://awpti.com.au/training/

Details of the case – http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/sa/SASCFC/2015/161.html

Lorna Jane case.

The Lorna Jane case where an employee is suing her employer over bullying claims is currently before a court in Brisbane.

The company’s head of people and culture, Emily Bourke, addressed the media at lunchtime today saying:

As an employer of more than 2,000 people we take the claims being taken against the company very seriously,” 

“We have conducted a through internal investigation and vehemently deny Ms Robinson’s claims.”

“We have workplace policies and procedures in place that very clearly state the company’s position on workplace bullying and harassment and it was not tolerated in any circumstances.”

“This is the first time in the company’s 27-year history that we have been involved in proceedings of this nature.”

It is worth noting that there is a common perception (true or not) that internal investigations may be biased, subject to conflict of interest and favour the employer.

Whether or not it is your first complaint, to ensure a through independent investigation that is not biased investigation or subject to claims of a conflict of interest, it is recommended that the investigations into complaints of bullying, harassment, sexual harassment and discrimination are outsourced to a professional and experienced investigator – we can help http://awpti.com.au/investigations/

The cost of an external investigation will likely be far less than the cost of defending the matter in court.

For more details of the article relating to this case – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-15/former-lorna-jane-employee-amy-robinson-break-down-in-court/8271576

More details about this case –http://www.9news.com.au/national/2017/02/14/14/04/qld-lorna-jane-bullying-trial-begins?

AWPTI – workplace investigations in Sydney and through-out NSW, QLD and Victoria. Workplace training national wide
Workplace investigations misconduct, bullying, harassment & sexual harassment investigations

www.awpti.com.au
http://awpti.com.au/investigations/