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Proposed law would 'end workplace banter'

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HC Online | 08 Jan 2013, 12:00 AM Agree 0
Workplace banter could soon be a thing of the past if draft legislation currently before a senate inquiry is passed – and the proposal has sparked outrage among Australia’s top legal minds.
  • Disgusted | 08 Jan 2013, 02:38 PM Agree 0
    The continued attack on our freedom and democracy continues..this is no longer the lucky country, and it is certainly no longer a democracy....We live in a socialist dictatorship and its only going to get worse. I weep for our children inheriting this ridiculous PC nonsense.
  • Sue Hanley | 08 Jan 2013, 03:53 PM Agree 0
    I think this head line is misleading. There is no proposal to ban workplace banter. There is a proposal to review and make recommendations on a series of anti-discrimination measures. Women in particular have fought long and hard for equality and dignity in the work place. Personally, I believe we do have a right to work in an environment free of offensive remarks. The conversation should be about how this can be achieved.
  • Denis Hitchens | 08 Jan 2013, 04:10 PM Agree 0
    And of course that catches professional footballers and cricketers (not in that order necessarily and include other proessional 'sports'people)since it is within their workplace

    What would Warney be up for after his most recent 'dust-up'
  • Princess ?? | 10 Jan 2013, 07:32 AM Agree 0
    If people believe they have a right to not be offended or not listen to what they believe is "offensive", then I think they are acting like a Princess. As Spigelman said, "There is no right not to be offended.” If we don't accept that, then women need to cover up totally so not as to offend Muslim men.

    I am an atheist so I don't want to hear someone thanking their imaginary friend, does that mean that no one should be allowed to say, "Thank God"?

    What happens if someone finds the concept of Santa Claws offensive? Should that mean that only Christian decorations should be allowed at Christmas so as not to offend them?
  • Bernie Althofer | 10 Jan 2013, 12:02 PM Agree 0
    Workplace banter has been always will be part of life. However, people irrespective of gender or beliefs should be treated with respect and dignity, and not subjected to remarks or comments that are offensive, degrading, or intimidatory, irrespective of whether they are present or not.

    As I understand there have already be decisions regarding offensive comments targeting individuals who are not present to defend themselves. It has only been because someone has taken a stand against such comments or behaviours that workplace standards have been maintained.

    The downhill started when people started believing that they had some perceived right to use offensive, intimidating, threatening language in the workplace thinking that this is how we should live.

    When one looks at work done in relation to the use of racially, sexually driven language, one will see the links to deviant conduct and corruption. Turning a blind eye only gives consent that the use of such language or behaviours is acceptable.

    Perhaps there needs to be a better understanding about the difference between welcome or unwelcome comments.
  • Bernie Althofer | 10 Jan 2013, 04:58 PM Agree 0
    Workplace banter has been always will be part of life. However, people irrespective of gender or beliefs should be treated with respect and dignity, and not subjected to remarks or comments that are offensive, degrading, or intimidatory, irrespective of whether they are present or not.

    As I understand there have already be decisions regarding offensive comments targeting individuals who are not present to defend themselves. It has only been because someone has taken a stand against such comments or behaviours that workplace standards have been maintained.

    The downhill started when people started believing that they had some perceived right to use offensive, intimidating, threatening language in the workplace thinking that this is how we should live.

    When one looks at work done in relation to the use of racially, sexually driven language, one will see the links to deviant conduct. Turning a blind eye only gives consent that the use of such language or behaviours is acceptable.

    Perhaps some of the discussion could focus on what people understand to be unwelcome conduct, and whether or not the workplace culture of an organisation tolerates offensive, insulting, intimidating to the point where it becomes acceptable. It might be the case that considerable work has to be undertaken in changing workplace cultures.
  • Kirsten | 23 Jan 2013, 02:25 PM Agree 0
    How about we start encouraging employees to act like adults and, if you overhear something you don't like, either speak directly and calmly about your concerns to the person who said it or alternatively - just stop listening.
  • Jess | 24 Jan 2013, 03:16 PM Agree 0
    Why do people always talk about how things will restrict freedom of speech when Australia doesn't have a bill of rights? We have no legislated 'freedom of speech'. In fact, we have laws like defamation and contempt of court designed to curtail speech. And when speech offends someone, it is never ok. It is never your 'right' to be offensive or discriminatory.
  • Ed | 08 Feb 2013, 05:26 PM Agree 0
    spare me please. All co-workers and myself would be fired twice a week. This country is becoming so tied up in it's own nonsense that we're all offending ourselves!
    The problem with over legislating anything is that people lose common sense and make worse decisions when they're not regulated.

    "Kirsten on 23 Jan 2013 02:25 PM " - Yes, you are correct.
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