Misuse of stop bullying jurisdiction

Friday, Aug 16, 2019

Employees claiming bullying to prevent being performance managed, is a growing trend according to a senior member of the Fair Work Commission.

Deputy President of the Fair Work Commission Peter Sams said there “has been a strategy to file a Stop Bullying Application as a deflection, or diversion, or even to overturn a justified disciplinary action…or performance improvement processes, implemented by an employer as a reasonable management response to incidents of misconduct or poor performance".

Workplace bullying occurs when a person or a group of people repeatedly behaves unreasonably towards a worker or a group of workers and that unreasonable behaviour creates a risk to health and safety.

An employee who believes they have been bullied at work can apply to the Fair Work Commission for an order to stop the bullying.

It is important to note that reasonable management action is not bullying. Therefore employers should have established consistent disciplinary and grievance processes so that managers know what is expected of them to ensure employees are treated fairly. 

SAWIA is delighted to advise that Commissioner Peter Hampton from the Fair Work Commission has agreed to speak on the topic of workplace bullying and employee action at SAWIA’s upcoming Employee Relations Conference. Click here for further details.

In addition, we offer onsite training in relation to bullying and harassment awareness for all workers, along with training which focuses on helping supervisors and managers handle difficult employment situations, such as disciplining employees and investigating employee grievances.

If you have any questions or would like to organise some onsite support, contact Adrian Richards on (08) 8222 9212 or adrian@winesa.asn.au.