Business concerns over new bullying laws

The ABC reports:

Australians who believe they are being bullied at work will soon be able to apply to the Fair Work Commission to have the harassment stopped.

The law, an Australian first, will come into effect on January 1 as part of amendments to the Fair Work Act passed by the Federal Parliament in June.

Workers will be able to ask the commission for an order which will compel their employer to have the bullying stopped.

However business groups say the commission’s new broad powers could be problematic, with issues which should be dealt with on a personal or human resources level being elevated to the level of an industrial relations tribunal.

But business groups like the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry say the changes are problematic.

“The workplace bullying jurisdiction does give rise to a lot of complications from a business point of view,” the chamber’s chief executive Peter Anderson said.

“Low level bullying acts are very much human resource and personnel issues, and taking these matters into the industrial relations tribunal you give these complaints a completely different characteristic.

“You also end up with the very serious matters being mixed in with the very low level issues and that doesn’t do justice to the serious matters.”

via Business concerns over new bullying laws – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

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