Top 10 reasons why your organisation should have training in bullying harassment sexual harassment
Training your employees of all levels in bullying, harassment and sexual harassment shouldn’t be a “nice to have”, “we’ll get around to it” or “maybe one day”, it’s an imperative, today. Not convinced here are the top ten reasons why your organisation should have training in bullying, harassment and sexual harassment.
1. To ensure that all of your employees understand what workplace bullying, harassment and sexual harassment is including clear statements about the types of behaviours that are unlawful.
2. To ensure that all of your employees understand what workplace bullying, harassment and sexual harassment are NOT.
I have investigated a large number of bullying complaints against managers that have resulting from an employee being subjected to performance management or having had some sort of performance feedback. In such cases I must determine if the behaviour of the manager or supervisor is bullying or reasonable management action.
The Fair Work Act states;
‘Behaviour will not be considered bullying if it is reasonable management action carried out in a reasonable manner.’
Fair Work Act s789FD (2)
This exclusion is comprised of three elements:
Having your employees aware of the difference between bullying and reasonable management action is important. If you are not sure about reasonable management action, don’t worry I have a training program specifically designed to assist organisation in this area – Management Essentials
3. It provides you with the opportunity to outline the specific behavioural expectation of your organisation.
Beyond the actual definitions training allows to be clear about the expectations of your organisation.
4. Good training should show victims why they should and how they can bring bullying, harassment or sexual harassment to the notice of the HR department.
5. Training can show witnesses what they should do if they see bullying, harassment or sexual harassment in the workplace.
6. Training develops trust that the organisation recognise the dangers of bullying, harassment and sexual harassment in the workplace and what actions with organisation will take.
7. Training allow employees to ask questions if they are not sure if a type of behaviour is bullying, harassment or sexual harassment.
This is especially important in relation to sexual harassment where some behaviours may be questionable – more details here
This is another good reason to favour face to face training over ‘tick a box’ online training. The Federal Court was critical of online training in the case of Richardson and Oracle
8. It removes the availability the “I didn’t know” defence for perpetrators. Importance note – keep training records.
9. Training is a way to ensure that your employees are not only aware of the company polices, Code of Conduct but also where to find them (Intranet etc)
10. Training is an important element in the reasonable steps defence if legal action is taken against an employer for being vicariously liable for the behaviour of an employee. This is an good analysis of question of the ‘reasonable steps defence’ relating to the sexual harassment case of Richardson and Oracle
AWPTI can provided training workplace bullying, harassment and sexual harassment, contact us for details email@example.com
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