Violent backlash as a result of WorkChoices

The Federal Government’s industrial relations reforms could potentially lead to increased workplace violence. According to local and international research conducted by Vaughan Bowie of the University of Western Sydney’s School of Social Sciences, WorkChoices could result in an imbalance of power between workers and their organisations

The Federal Government’s industrial relations reforms could potentially lead to increased workplace violence. According to local and international research conducted by Vaughan Bowie of the University of Western Sydney’s School of Social Sciences, WorkChoices could result in an imbalance of power between workers and their organisations. Workplaces may create opportunities for bullying, as workers without any bargaining power face the prospect of reduced pay and conditions as well reactions of frustration and anger from workers, Bowie said. The research revealed new trends in workplace violence, including cyber harassment, staff violence towards clients and consumers as well as acts of company sabotage and terrorism.

UK: New age discrimination laws not to be ignored

Companies in the UK face unlimited compensation claims for non-compliance with new age discrimination laws, according to Watson Wyatt. The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006, set to take effect in the UK from 1 October, prohibit age discrimination and aim to promote environments of equal treatment in employment and vocational training. The legislation will impact on pension provision and employee benefits as well. UK Companies should carry out thorough audits prior to October, cataloguing and reviewing their employee benefits before it is too late, according to Wendy Dixon, consultant in the healthcare and risk practice at Watson Wyatt.

WA comprehensive OHS code released

Australia’s first comprehensive code addressing OHS was released in Western Australia in late July. The Code of Practice Working Hours 2006 can be adapted to a wide range of industries and occupations and applies to all workplaces covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 and the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994. The code covers the three-step process of risk management but also comes with a separate set of risk management guidelines to allow workplaces to gauge their own level of risk so that appropriate control measures can be put in place. The code also deals with fatigue and identifies the risks associated with extended working hours.

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