Work Bullies to Meet Their Nemesis under the New Federal Directive
Fair Work Commission (FWC), which has long been clamouring for a strong step against workplace bullying, is finally set to get their wish. The all-new amendment bill for the year 2013, waiting to pass in Federal Parliament seeks to deal strongly with bullies. Australian companies now need to develop a more sympathetic attitude towards such complaints and deal with them post haste.
Employees who have filed complaints may approach FWC for addressing from July 2013 onwards.
However, it is necessary to remember that not all acts of aggression at the workplace is bullying. The amendment bill gives a specific definition. According to it, any behaviour that is aggressive and repetitively, perpetrated on an individual or group is bullying. This is especially true when these acts endanger the safety and health of the victim in the process.
Even the circumstance of such aggressive behaviour is crucial under the new bill. Any unreasonable aggressor is a bully. Their acts are intimidating and threatening playing havoc with the peace of mind of those at the receiving end. In most cases, the bullies come from a position of power in the company or the organization. They can be either managers or simply the owners using their influence to pick on somebody below them on a continuous basis. With the new amendments in place, their free reign may now end in the coming times.
FWC wants to impose discipline in the workplace, ensure that there is all fairness, and complete lawful behavior when it comes to employer conduct. Equal treatment is necessary since it makes the environment conducive for work and increases performance. After all, a happy employee is a productive employee!
With the new amendment bill in place at the Federal Parliament, FWC is going to have a crucial role when it comes to dealing with workplace bullying. They are the determining factor when identifying, labelling, and penalizing such an act. They also delve deep to decide whether this is a case of bullying or simply an isolated case of aggression.
The commission may direct the employer to keep an eye on both the parties and even conduct a meeting between them. If it is possible to resolve an issue simply by talking it out, nothing can be better. Another way is a formal hearing leading to resolution. Final step is the referring of the case to regulatory bodies for Worker Health Safety (WHS).
With all its power, FWC cannot grant monetary compensation. This is the job of WHS. FWC can only decide whether bullying has occurred, penalize, and then refer it to the organization for disbursement of funds. The penalty can be a hefty fine or complete disbarring of the business concern for times to come.
Even after the passing of the 2013 amendment bill, fair work commission has a tall task in its hand. Current bullying regulation prevalent in the organization has to be compliant with the new directive and more sensitive to such serious issues. Only then, it is possible to achieve real success against such unjust and uncalled for aggressions.
If you require assistance to prepare a company policy on bullying, your can obtain a fully completed template for as little under $30 here.