Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


New guidelines seek to address workplace bullying

New guidelines seek to address workplace bullying


17 March 2014 - Bullying in the workplace is under the microscope with WorkSafe NZ recently issuing guidelines on how to prevent and respond to workplace bullying.

Sarah Townsend, an employment law specialist with Duncan Cotterill, says workplace bullying can come at an enormous cost to a business.

“Morale and productivity are often significantly affected, not to mention adverse effects on employees’ health and the potential for expensive legal claims.

“But what constitutes bullying is not always easy to identify. Case law has shown that the line between what constitutes bullying on the one hand, or blunt management on the other, is far from clear.”

She welcomes the new WorkSafe NZ guidelines that define workplace bullying as repeated and unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or group of workers that creates a risk to health and safety.

“There is now more certainty around preventing and responding to bullying in the workplace. While the guidelines do not have the force of law, employers will still be expected to comply with them where issues of bullying have been raised,” Townsend says.

“A failure to comply with the guidelines will significantly undermine any argument that the employer has acted as a fair and reasonable employer. Accordingly, all complaints of bullying should be taken seriously and promptly and fairly investigated.”

The importance of employers effectively addressing workplace bullying issues was recently highlighted by the Employment Relations Authority in the case of Hirini v Bay of Plenty District Health Board [2013]. In that case, an employee of a District Health Board brought complaints of bullying to the attention of management after a series of what were supposed to be constructive “group case reviews” left the employee feeling belittled, threatened and criticised by his colleagues. It was alleged that this demonstrated a pattern of bullying behaviour that was present throughout the workplace.

While acknowledging the complaints, management failed to look any further into the issue despite a process for doing so being outlined in the DHB’s policy manuals. This failure to conduct a thorough investigation saw the Authority find that the employee had been constructively dismissed. The employee was awarded three months’ wages and $7000 compensation for hurt and humiliation.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Team Behind Trump's Throne

Forget the Putin factor. Daily, the team of charlatans, bigots and stunningly ignorant crackpots that Trump is appointing to head key federal agencies is just as alarming. These are positions with vast power and budgetary discretion over policies that stand to affect tens of millions of vulnerable Americans. Sad! More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English, Abroad

If David Cameron was the closest thing John Key had to a political mentor, their successors also share a whole lot in common. Theresa May and Bill English were both propelled into the top jobs as the result of unexpected resignations, and without much in the way of credible competition from their colleagues... More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Labour Bill To Override Safety Act For Mine Entry

“Bill English has been hiding behind the legal excuse that any attempt to re-enter the mine to recover the bodies might place the mine’s owner, Solid Energy Limited, and its directors in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Populism And Labour 2017

For many people on the centre-left, populism is a dirty word, and a shorthand for the politics of bigotry. In this country, it has tended to be equated with the angry legions of New Zealand First. Who knew they were not just a reactionary spasm, but the wave of the future? More>>

Oxfam: 30% Of NZ Owns Less Wealth Than Our Two Richest Men

The research also reveals that the richest one per cent have 20 per cent of the wealth in New Zealand, while 90 per cent of the population owns less than half of the nation’s wealth. The research forms part of a global report released to coincide with this week’s annual meeting of political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More>>

ALSO:

Hospitals: Resident Doctors Set To Strike Again

Despite discussions between the DHBs and NZRDA over safer hours for resident doctors progressing during the last week, the strike planned for next week appears set to proceed. More>>

ALSO:

Not So Super Fund: More Burning Ethical Questions For Steven Joyce

Greens: Radio New Zealand reported this morning that the New Zealand Superfund has $77 million invested in 47 coal companies that the Norwegian Government’s Pension Fund – the largest sovereign fund in the world – has blacklisted. More>>

Activism: Greenpeace Intercepts World’s Biggest Seismic Oil Ship

Greenpeace crew have made contact with the world’s biggest seismic oil ship after travelling 50 nautical miles on two rigid-hulled inflatables off the coast of Wairarapa... Greenpeace radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver an open letter of protest signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Why Tax Cuts In 2017 Would Be A (Proven) Bad Idea

Ever since the world fell prey to the mullahs of the free market in the 1980s, no amount of real world evidence has managed dispel one key tenet of their economic faith. Namely, the idea that if you cut income taxes and taxes on small business, a wave of individual enterprise and entrepreneurial energy will thus be unleashed, profits will rise and – hey bingo! – the tax cuts will soon be paying for themselves ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news