Government Acts on Bullying in the Workplace
The Federal Government has announced its response to a parliamentary inquiry into workplace bullying, chaired by Amanda Rishworth MP. Supporting the majority of the 23 recommendations made by the House of Representatives committee, the Government supports measures to adopt a national definition of workplace bullying, promote education and awareness of what constitutes workplace bullying and work to develop national training standards to improve responses to bullying complaints.
NTEU’s submission to the Inquiry highlighted the findings of the Union’s report into racism and bullying, entitled “I’m Not a Racist, But”. We also highlighted the fact that bullying is connected with insecure work, noting that the ACTU’s Insecure Work Inquiry (2012) found that over 40 per cent of workers are in insecure work, and that the level of this type of employment is on the increase. Insecure employment in higher education continues to increase through the casualisation of teaching and fixed term contracts in research and other jobs. Aside from leaving workers personally vulnerable to bullying themselves, insecure work is also largely responsible for what we call the ‘silent witness’ syndrome in bullying, where it is observed by others but unreported out of fear for their own jobs.
NTEU knows that only way to overcome bullying is through collective strength and action, and education to better equip members on how to deal with bullying when it occurs. Unfortunately, NTEU’s recommendations were not reflected in the Government’s response to the Inquiry. However, the Union will continue to advocate for improvements around racism and bullying as the Government moves to implement its own measures, and will keep members informed on further developments.
The Parliamentary Report into Bullying in the Workplace can be accessed here.
To review the Government’s Response to the Report, please click on the link below