Workplace Relation’s Minister Bill Shorten was interviewed on ABC TV about the results of Australia’s exhaustive parliamentary inquiry into workplace bullying Calling it a scourge that runs into billions of dollars and more importantly takes a human toll, Shorten called for “zero tolerance.” An article in News.com.au says the inquiries report, “Workplace Bullying: We Just Want It To Stop,” recommends “strengthening existing laws and clearly definingwhat workplace bullying is.” America, are you listening?
The report also recommends that the government:
“develop a national advisory service that provides practical and operational advice on what does and does not constitute workplace bullying..”
Kevin Jones of SafetyAtWorkBlog writes that “this is sorely needed and will relieve State OHS regulators of the pressure and the resources. No timeline is mentioned but it is likely that the Federal Government will move to establish such a service quickly, as the recommendation is not surprising. However, the opposition political mantra for any government initiative is how it will be funded. Some of the recommendations feature Safe Work Australia but an earlier iteration of this body suffered severe financial cuts under a previous conservative government. Some of these recommendations call for long-term efforts which will not be achievable without similar long-term and sustainable financing. Federal budgets should be carefully scrutinised to identify any hint of lip-service in this area.” Jones’ future articles on the report will be fascinating reading.
You can read the report for yourself. The language of the dissent is telling.
- First look at Australia’s workplace bullying report (safetyatworkblog.com)
- Bullying ‘far too common’ in the workplace (smh.com.au)
- Increase In Workplace Bullying Policies Not Stopping Abuse (bullyinworkplace.com)