Almost one in 10 anti-bullying claims made to the Fair Work Commission proceed to a full order being made, showing that employers can be doing more to resolve complaints internally.
The FWC recently released its annual report for the 2017 financial year, which revealed that it received 722 applications for an order to stop bullying in the workplace – consistent with the volume received in previous years.
While the vast majority of these were withdrawn or resolved early on in proceedings, 60 applications (8.3 per cent) were only resolved as a result of a determination being handed down by the commission.
Just three cases warranted an order being issued to ensure compliance with the decision handed down.
“These matters can be resolved in various ways, including the employers’ recognition of, and response to, a workplace complaint and subsequent implementation of workplace solutions such as providing training or adjusting lines of reporting,” the report said.
Many business leaders and even their employees are unaware of the workplace bullying investigation process, despite the damage that bullying can have on the health of affected individuals, business morale and productivity, as well as the reputation of an employer.
My Business recently reported on the case of a former teacher who was awarded a hefty six-figure payout after bullying and isolation left her suicidal and suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
“With the growth (or greater awareness, depending on your point of view) of bullying, this is the concept which now encompasses many kinds of inappropriate workplace behaviour,” said Geoff Baldwin, an employment lawyer at Stacks Law Firm.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.