Call for Government Intervention on Workplace Bullying
28 November 2012 at 2:48 pm
A new parliamentary report has been released into workplace bullying in Australia. Picture: safetyupdate.com.au
A parliamentary report about workplace bullying in Australia has recommended the Federal Government establish a new national advisory service to provide advice, assistance and resolution services to employers and workers.
The report is released by the Australian Parliament Standing Committee on Education and Employment, which heard more than 300 submissions from organisations and employees about the human toll that workplace bullying takes.
The report says the chief concern of witnesses was the lack of clarity about what to do and where to go for help.
It contains 23 recommendations including the adoption of a new national definition of ‘workplace bullying’, a workplace bullying ‘hotline’ and a legislative and regulatory framework.
The report is a result of a Parliamentary Inquiry into the issue of workplace bullying, announced by the Gillard Government in May 2012 to address community and public concerns.
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Bill Shorten welcomed the release of the report and said he hopes it will promote a national conversation about the issue.
“Bullying and harassment have no place in any Australian workplace,” Shorten said.
Shorten said that the inquiry into the issue of workplace bullying was important because it “cuts across all industries and all jurisdictions”.
National depression Not for Profit, beyondblue, welcomed the release of the report saying it paved the way for more mentally healthy workplaces across the country.
“The findings of this report reveal there is still a lot the Commonwealth government can do to reduce workplace bullying in Australia significantly and to improve outcomes for victims,” beyondblue chief executive Kate Carnell said.
“We encourage the government and Australian workplaces to consider the report seriously and to ask what they can do to reduce workplace bullying.”
Carnell said that an important factor in developing a mentally healthy workplace was to eliminate any form of bullying.
beyondblue said it strongly encouraged the government to consider the Committee’s recommendations around developing new training programs for employers and employees, as well as drawing on existing resources.
Minister Shorten and Carnell both paid tribute to Damien and Rae Panlock, who have campaigned for tough workplace bullying laws since their daughter Brodie took her life in 2006 after being bullied at her Melbourne workplace.
“One only needs to look at the tragic case of Brodie Panlock and the suffering that her death has caused her family to know how devastating workplace bullying can be,” Carnell said.
Shorten said that the government will consider the recommendations in detail.
“We look forward to working with jurisdictions, employer and employee organisations and workers across the broader community to create safe, productive and bully-free workplaces in Australia.”