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No cigar for anti-bullying doomsayers

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HC Online | 11 Feb 2014, 10:06 AM Agree 0
The FWC has released the first statistics on the new anti-bullying laws’ effects, and it looks like those predicting a storm were wrong – or at least premature.
  • Howard Whitton | 11 Feb 2014, 02:16 PM Agree 0
    There is long experience in Australia showing that these sorts of reforms do not generate a 'floodgates' response. It takes time for people (including consultants who advise likely applicants) to understand the new system, to figure out whether it works well enough to be worth making a complaint, and to trust it. Early cases and decisions will be crucial. Come back in 6 months...
  • Bernie Althofer | 11 Feb 2014, 03:29 PM Agree 0
    I find myself agreeing with Carlo. In addition, I would suggest that people have been waiting to see whether or not they can take action under the new legislation and how difficult it would be for them physically, psychologically and financially.

    Based on inquiries made over the past few years, it would appear that some people believe that that economic climate and the ability to find another job has a direct impact on whether or not they report bullying behaviours, or even support others.

    It would also appear that because there is no dramatic increase or spike in reporting, some organisations may believe that bullying is on the decrease.

    It also seems that resolution options being offered up through various organisational policies encourage individuals to handle the matter themselves. In addition, risk assessments invariably fail to identify the actual workplace hazards that contribute to bullying incidents.

    In the main, there is probably a percentage of the workforce who really want the bullying to stop, but they are faced with the situation whereby taking action is physically, psychologically and financially draining.

    The outshot is that whilst people had great expectations and held high hopes that the new laws would provide a process whereby bullying could be stopped, the laws have created a number of barriers and limitations that only make the situation worse for some targets.

    It will be interesting to review the situation in six months time to see whether or not the laws are being accessed and whether or not any change is actually occurring.
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