Identifying and Addressing Workplace Harassment in AustraliaJuly 30, 2021
Harassment in the workplace can take various forms, and it certainly isn’t just a problem for large corporations. Employees have reported workplace harassment in all types of Australian businesses.
It’s critical to understand workplace harassment, which ranges from bullying to outright discrimination, so that you can avoid toxic work environments in your business. In that way, you can take the essential steps to provide a safe working environment for all employees.
What Constitutes Workplace Harassment?
Physical evidence of workplace harassment may or may not exist. When talking about what’s going on with you, it’s helpful to understand what’s going on. Harassment can occur in a variety of situations, including the following:
- The harasser could be the victim’s boss, a boss in another department, an employer’s representative, a coworker, or a non-employee.
- The victim does not have to be harassed; anyone affected by the objectionable behaviour could be the victim.
- Harassment may occur without causing financial harm to the victim or the victim’s employment termination.
What Are the Different Types of Workplace Harassment?
Some examples of workplace harassment include:
- Verbal Harassment
- Psychological Harassment
- Digital Harassment
- Physical Harassment
- Sexual Harassment
How Can I Report Workplace Harassment?
It’s critical to report workplace harassment since other victims have said similar violations by the same perpetrator, and the employer may be waiting for further evidence before taking action.
Many businesses have explicit protocols in place for reporting workplace harassment, but others may not. In these nonviolent situations, carry out the following steps:
- Try to resolve the situation with the harasser calmly. Ask them to stop directing this behaviour at you, especially in private. If the harassment is physical, however, do not approach the harasser.
- Consider reporting the problem to your immediate supervisor—unless your supervisor is the culprit. If your attempts to resolve the situation with the harasser fail, bring it to HR’s attention. Provide evidence in the form of screenshots, texts, messages, and eyewitness testimonies if possible.
- If you believe your managers, HR, or company management did not handle your matter properly, contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Personnel in Australia, which can conduct an independent investigation.
When dealing with workplace harassment, there are a few things you should avoid doing. Most essential, refrain from retaliating, as this might exacerbate the problem.
What Are the Different Workplace Harassment Laws?
While good policy begins with the decisions of business owners, federal and state legislations protect workers from harassment. The laws below serve as long-term casual employee rights:
- Employers, coworkers, and other “workplace participants” such as partners, commission agents, and contract workers are prohibited from harassing each other in the workplace under the Sex Discrimination Act of 1984. Sexual harassment is broadly described as unwanted sexual behaviour that a reasonable person would expect to offend, embarrass, or intimidate the harassed individual.
- The Disability Discrimination Act of 1992 forbids workplace harassment based on or related to a person’s or an associate’s disability.
- The Racial Discrimination Act of 1975 outlaws racial hatred-based objectionable behaviour. Racial hatred is described as behaviour that offends, degrades, or humiliates a person or group of people in public because of their race, colour, or nationality.
Employers or managers must respond immediately and effectively to all occurrences of harassment, regardless of how big or little the incident is or who is involved. If problems go unresolved, a hostile working atmosphere can emerge, exposing employers to more complaints.
Give Your Employees a Safe Working Environment!
Whether you own or work for a small business, do your best to promote and establish a favourable policy that protects your employees and coworkers.
Workclaims Australia houses trusted employment lawyers in Perth with experience in a variety of national workplace relations concerns. Get in touch with us today, and we will advise you on the ideal way to approach your rights.