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Workplace discrimination, harassment and bullying: not for my business, thank you!

Ask a room of HR people for their definition of workplace discrimination, harassment and bullying and the chances are you’ll receive a different answer from each person. At Bare Bones Consulting we love diversity in opinions but there are some definitions worth getting straight from the horse’s mouth, particularly if there are also financial and reputational implications for your business in getting in wrong.

The horse’s mouth in this case is the Australian Human Rights Commission, an independent statutory body funded by the Australian Government. The Commission is charged with responsibility for investigating alleged infringements under Australia’s anti-discrimination legislation, including:

  • Age Discrimination Act 2004 (Cth)
  • Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth)
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth)
  • Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth)
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth)

The Commission’s website is a great one stop shop for general information on human rights in Australia, including an overview of an employer’s responsibility to ensure employees – and candidates who apply for employment – are treated fairly. Although the topic of employee rights can seem a little daunting, one logical place to start is to know just what workplace discrimination, harassment and bullying actually is (and isn’t). Free tip? Check the link:

https://www.humanrights.gov.au/employers/good-practice-good-business-factsheets/workplace-discrimination-harassment-and-bullying

From 1 January 2014, employees who believe they have been bullied at work can contact the Fair Work Ombudsman about their complaint. Having a policy that communicates your stance on workplace discrimination, harassment and bullying is one way of managing your risk and avoiding an unpleasant call from the Ombudsman. Bare Bones Consulting takes the hard work out of developing the right policy and communication strategy for you…why not give us a call to see how we can help?

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  • Bare Bones Consulting

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