WORKPLACE BULLYING & HARASSMENT

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1 WORKPLACE BULLYING & HARASSMENT Category: Policy Doc ID: JT-HR-POL-0002 Version: 8.0 At JTMEC Pty Ltd ( JTMEC ) we are committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace at all of our work sites in which employees are treated fairly and with dignity and respect. This Workplace Bullying & Harassment Policy ( Policy ) outlines JTMEC s commitment to providing a safe workplace and is aimed at ensuring that employees are not subjected to any form of bullying or harassment while at work. It also details the legal responsibilities of JTMEC and employees in relation to preventing bullying and harassment in the workplace. This Policy covers all employees of JTMEC and anyone performing work at the direction of or on behalf of JTMEC ( employees ). Workplace includes all JTMEC Branches and Workshops, and extends to all functions and places that are work related, for example: work sponsored or organised events and parties; client functions; and work lunches and conferences. JTMEC also have in place a Performance & Behaviour Policy (JT-HR-POL-0010) and a Performance & Behaviour Procedure (JT-HR-PRO-0007) which should be read in conjunction with this Policy. LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES Bullying and harassment in the workplace is harmful not only to the target of the behaviour but damages JTMEC s culture and reputation. It is a risk to the health and safety of employees, and will not be tolerated by JTMEC. Everyone within the workplace has a legal responsibility to prevent bullying and harassment from occurring. Under relevant legislation JTMEC has the primary duty to eliminate or minimise as far as reasonable practicable any risks to health and safety in the workplace. This duty includes the implementation of strategies to prevent workplace bullying and harassment. Employees are also required under legislation to take reasonable care for their own health and safety, as well as that of others within the workplace. All employees must also comply with any reasonable instruction given by JTMEC. WHAT IS WORKPLACE BULLYING & HARASSMENT? Workplace bullying is repeated, unreasonable behaviour by an individual or group of individuals, directed towards a worker or a group of workers that creates a risk to health and safety. It includes both physical and psychological risks and abuse. Workplace harassment is unwanted behaviour that offends, humiliates or intimidates a person, and targets them on the basis of a characteristic such as gender, race, sexual preference, religion, age, disability or ethnicity. Harassment relates to anti-discrimination laws. Repeated behaviour refers to the persistent nature of the behaviour and can refer to a range or pattern of behaviours over a period of time (for example verbal abuse, unreasonable criticism, isolation and subsequently being denied opportunities ie a pattern is being established from a series of events). Unreasonable behaviour means behaviour that a reasonable person, having regard to all the circumstances, would expect to victimise, humiliate, undermine or threaten another person, regardless of what the intention of the behaviour is. Unwanted behaviour means behaviour that is not solicited, requested or welcomed, and one in which the conduct is deemed undesirable or offensive. Sexual harassment means behaviour that is not solicited, requested or welcomed, and of a sexual nature, which makes a person feel humiliated, intimidated or offended. Sexual harassment may include inappropriate or unnecessary physical contact, spoken or written comments, jokes, propositions, the display of offensive material or other behaviour which creates a sexually hostile or uncomfortable environment. Last Updated 25/06/14 Page 1 of 5

2 Bullying and harassing behaviours can take many different forms, from the obvious (direct) to the more subtle (indirect). Some examples of both direct and indirect behaviours may include: Direct: abusive, insulting or offensive language or comments; spreading misinformation or malicious rumours; behaviour or language that frightens, humiliates, belittles or degrades, including over criticising, or criticism that is delivered with yelling or screaming; displaying offensive material (including posters, calendars or screen savers); unwanted or unwelcomed physical contact; sending or sharing inappropriate s or sharing an insulting joke about a particular racial or ethnic group; inappropriate comments about a person s appearance, lifestyle, their family, or sexual preferences; teasing or regularly making someone the brunt of pranks or practical jokes; interfering with a person s personal property or work equipment, or harmful or offensive initiation practices. Indirect: unreasonably overloading a person with work, or not providing enough work; setting timeframes that are difficult to achieve, or constantly changing them; setting tasks that are unreasonably below, or above, a person s skill level; deliberately excluding or isolating a person from normal work activities; withholding information that is necessary for effective work performance; deliberately denying access to resources or workplace benefit and entitlements (eg training, leave etc); deliberately changing work arrangements (such as rosters and leave) to inconvenience a particular employee or to work with a particular employee. A single incident of unreasonable behaviour does not usually constitute bullying. However, it should not be ignored as it may have the potential to escalate into bullying behaviour. A person s intention is irrelevant when determining if bullying or harassment has occurred. Bullying or harassment can occur unintentionally, where actions which are not intended to victimise, humiliate, undermine or threaten a person actually have that effect. WHAT IS NOT WORKPLACE BULLYING & HARASSMENT? Managing employees does not constitute bullying or harassment when undertaken in a reasonable manner. Managers have the right and obligation to manage employees. This includes directing the way in which work is performed, undertaking performance reviews, providing feedback (even if negative) and disciplining/counselling. Some examples of managing employees which do not constitute bullying or harassment include: setting reasonable performance goals and work deadlines; fairly rostering and allocating working hours; transferring an employee for legitimate and explained operational reasons; deciding not to select an employee for promotion following a fair and documented process; informing an employee about unsatisfactory performance or behaviour in a constructive way and in accordance with JTMEC s Performance Management Policy; and implementing company changes or restructures. HOW WILL JTMEC PREVENT WORKPLACE BULLYING & HARASSMENT? JTMEC will take all reasonable steps to prevent bullying and harassment through ongoing education and risk management processes. This process includes, but is not limited to: develop and implement appropriate control methods and procedures to identify, control and manage as far as reasonably practicable potential bullying and harassment risk factors (these are things and situations which could contribute to bullying or harassment, for example - the way in which employees are managed, redundancy selection etc); Workplace Bullying & Harassment Policy Page 2 of 5

3 review the effectiveness of the control methods and procedures; and train employees about bullying and harassment, how to deal with it and its impact within the workplace. MANAGEMENT OF WORKPLACE BULLYING & HARASSMENT ALLEGATIONS If an employee feels that they have been bullied or harassed, they should not ignore it. JTMEC has a procedure in place for dealing with bullying and harassment, and allegations should be brought to the attention of their Manager (or the Human Resources Manager) as soon as possible. An investigation will take place to determine the suitable course of action. As far as reasonably practicable, all allegations and investigations shall be kept in the strictest confidence and shall be managed in accordance with JTMEC s Performance & Behaviour Procedure. The Performance & Behaviour Procedure ensures that: all complaints are taken seriously and action taken to promptly resolve the issue; confidentiality will be maintained as far as reasonably practicable. It may be necessary to speak with other employees (included the Respondent) in order to determine facts and to afford procedural fairness; the complainant, the respondent, and any witnesses will not be subjected to victimisation; all parties are appropriately supported throughout the process, and offered the assistance of JTMEC s Employee Assistance Program; the investigation will be conducted in an impartial manner, and outcomes will be based on facts and on the balance of probabilities; communication of the investigation (including estimating length of time for resolution) will occur with all parties; appropriate action is taken when outcomes of the investigation are determined; and appropriate records will be maintained and stored confidentially. Your Manager (or the Human Resources Manager) can explain the various options, but they generally entail: Confront the Issue If you feel comfortable doing so, you should initially address the issue directly with the person concerned. To do this, identify the bullying or harassing behaviour, explain that the behaviour is unwelcome and offensive and ask that it stop immediately. This is not compulsory. If you do not feel comfortable confronting the person, or if you confront the person and the behaviour continues, you should report the issue to your Manager (or the Human Resources Manager). If at any time, you are unsure about how to handle a situation you should contact your Manager (or the Human Resources Manager) for support and guidance. Report the Issue JTMEC has two procedures that can be used to resolve bullying or harassment complaints, an informal or formal procedure. The type of procedure used depends on the nature and seriousness of the complaint. The aim is to ensure that all employees are able to return to a productive and harmonious working relationship as soon as possible. Informal complaint procedure Under an informal complaint procedure there are a broad range of options for addressing the complaint, and depends on how serious the allegations are. Generally options include: discussing the issue with the person against whom the complaint is made; and/or facilitating a meeting between the parties in an attempt to resolve the issue and move forward. The informal complaint procedure is more suited to less serious allegations that if founded, may not warrant disciplinary action being taken. Workplace Bullying & Harassment Policy Page 3 of 5

4 Formal complaint procedure The formal complaint procedure involves the employee lodging a written complaint and a formal investigation of that complaint taking place by the Human Resources Manager. If the investigation finds that the allegations did take place, disciplinary action (including termination of employment) may be an outcome. Other options may include re-education and training, monitoring of future behaviour, apologising, transfer to a different work area or the issue of a formal warning. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES Manager / Supervisors Managers and supervisors have a key role in the prevention of workplace bullying and harassment. Managers and Supervisors must: ensure that they do not bully or harass employees, nor allow or encourage others to engage in bullying or harassing behaviour; communicate this Policy to all employees who report to them, and ensure those employees are aware of, and fully understand this Policy and their responsibility to comply with it; educate all employees who report to them that bullying or harassment in any form is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by JTMEC; act promptly and appropriately if they observe bullying or harassing behaviours; ensure that all employees who report to them understand that they should report any bullying or harassment behaviour and are aware of and understand the complaint procedures; and act promptly if a complaint is made. If this is not possible, or is inappropriate, inform the Human Resources Manager of the complaint as soon as possible. Employees All employees must: read, understand and comply with this Policy; sign the employee acknowledgement to this Policy; ensure they do not engage in any conduct which may constitute bullying or harassment towards any other employee; ensure they do not aid, abet or encourage other persons to engage in bullying or harassing behaviour; follow JTMEC s complaint procedure if they experience bullying or harassment; report any bullying or harassment they see occurring to others in the workplace in accordance with this Policy; and maintain confidentiality if they are involved in the incident which has been reported. If a person is found to make a false complaint, or a malicious complaint (for example making up a complaint to get someone else in trouble, or making a complaint where there is no foundation for the complaint), then that person may be disciplined and may be exposed to a defamation claim. BREACH OF THIS POLICY JTMEC takes very seriously its commitment to provide a safe and healthy work environment, free from bullying and harassment. All employees must comply with this Policy at all times. Any breach will be treated as a serious matter and may result in disciplinary action which may include termination of employment or contractual arrangements for serious or repeated breaches. For assistance with the interpretation or application of this Policy, please refer to the Human Resources Manager. JTMEC reserves the right to amend this Policy from time to time as required. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT To acknowledge that you have received a copy, read and understood the contents of the Workplace Bullying & Harassment Policy, you are asked to sign the Summary Acknowledgement form on the following page. Workplace Bullying & Harassment Policy Page 4 of 5

5 SUMMARY AND ACKNOWLEDGMENT SIGN-OFF: WORKPLACE BULLYING & HARASSMENT POLICY Not to be read in isolation. This sheet is provided as a summary only. To be read in conjunction with the Workplace Bullying & Harassment Policy (JT-HR-POL-0002). JTMEC Pty Ltd ( JTMEC ) is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace at all of our work sites in which all employees are treated fairly and with dignity and respect. Bullying and harassment is a risk to the health and safety of employees, and will not be tolerated by JTMEC. The Workplace Bullying & Harassment Policy ( Policy ) outlines JTMEC s commitment to providing a safe workplace and is aimed at ensuring that employees are not subjected to any form of bullying or harassment while at work. This Policy covers all JTMEC employees and anyone performing work at the direction of or on behalf of JTMEC. The workplace includes all JTMEC Branches and Workshops, and extends to all functions and places that are workrelated. Bullying is defined as repeated, unreasonable behaviour directed at a certain individual (or group) that creates a risk to health and safety. It includes both physical and psychological risks and abuse. Harassment is unwanted behaviour that offends, humiliates or intimidates a person, and targets them on the basis of a characteristic such as gender, race, sexual preference, religion, age, disability or ethnicity. JTMEC have a procedure in place for dealing with bullying and harassment, and allegations should be brought to the attention of their Manager (or the Human Resources Manager) as soon as possible. An investigation will take place to determine the suitable course of action in accordance with JTMEC s Performance & Behaviour Procedure. In summary, the key points to remember: JTMEC will not tolerate bullying or harassment of any employee at any of its workplaces; Breaches will be treated promptly, with impartiality and in a manner which allows for procedural fairness; If you feel comfortable, you should initially address the issue directly with the person concerned. To do this, identify the bullying or harassing behaviour, explain that the behaviour is unwelcome and offensive and ask that it stop immediately; JTMEC have procedures for resolving bullying and harassment complaints including an informal or formal procedure. The type of procedure used depends on the nature and seriousness of the complaint. The aim is to ensure that all employees are able to return to a productive and harmonious work place as soon as possible; Consequences of a substantiated bullying or harassment complaint may include termination of employment, re-education and training, monitoring of future behaviour, apologising, transfer to a different work area or the issue of a formal warning; and If a person is found to make a false or malicious complaint, then that person may be disciplined. I (print name) hereby acknowledge and confirm that: I have received the full copy of, and have read and understood the intent of, the JTMEC Workplace Bullying & Harassment Policy; and I agree that at all times I will comply with the JTMEC Workplace Bullying & Harassment Policy, and understand that there may be disciplinary consequences (including termination of my employment) if I breach this Policy. / / SIGNATURE DATE SIGNATURE OF WITNESS Once signed and witnessed this page to be returned to the Human Resources Department The Workplace Bullying Policy should be retained by the employee for their future reference. Last Updated 28/07/14 Page 5 of 5

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