Having investigated 100s of workplace bullying/harassment complaints and conducted many training sessions. I have found that the requests/engagements have always come from the HR department or another senior manager (if there is no dedicated HR) but never from a manager involved in safety or WHS.
Would a shift in responsibility for the handling of bullying and harassment complaints and training from HR to WHS/HSE affect the process and how bullying and harassment was viewed and dealt with in the workplace?
An important consideration is how bullying/harassment complaints are addressed by external agencies. In my experience a complaint of bullying/harassment is often accompanied by a WorkCover or Worker’s compensation claim, this I think would tend to indicate that bullying and harassment complaint fall under the jurisdiction of WHS/HSE manager.
Contrary to this complaints that proceed to the Fair Work Commission in the form of anti-bullying orders seem to be the jurisdiction of the HR manager.
Either way I think that it is important for employers or organisation to have trusted and effective training, policing and investigation processes in place. I would love to hear opinions from HR/HSE/WHS managers.
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