Workplace Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Violence

Version Number

2.0

Implementation Date

9/07/2012

Scope

Department-wide

Purpose

​Outlines the responsibilities of all employees in relation to creating a work environment that is free from workplace harassment, sexual harassment, and violence.

Overview

​The department is committed to working with staff to create and maintain a work environment that is free from workplace harassment, sexual harassment and violence.
Principles underpinning this commitment include:

  • Fair and equitable treatment for all
  • Safe and healthy work practices and environments and a concern for staff welfare
  • Compliance with legislative requirements
  • Prompt resolution of grievances and complaints

Responsibilities

​Director-General:

  • Take reasonable steps to prevent workplace harassment, sexual harassment and violence from occurring in all workplaces
  • Respect the rights and needs of employees as individuals
  • Provide employees with formal avenues of complaint and support
  • Manage consistently allegations of serious or official misconduct
  • Discuss allegations of this nature with the department’s Crime and Misconduct Liaison Officer, who will advise on the appropriate process for dealing with the matter

Employees:

  • Treat others with respect and dignity
  • Refrain from behaviours that may constitute workplace harassment, sexual harassment or violence
  • Comply with departmental policy and relevant legislation in particular the Code of Conduct and Standard of Practice
  • Understand that they are encouraged to resolve workplace issues informally prior to lodging or initiating a formal grievance process
  • Understand that if found to be in breach of any policy or procedure the employee may be subject to disciplinary action

In addition to their responsibilities as employees, managers and principals:

  • Model appropriate workplace behaviour
  • Monitor the workplace for incidences of inappropriate behaviour and take appropriate action to resolve grievances and complaints within the specified timeframe
  • Deal with all complaints seriously and confidentially

Employee Assistance Service:

  • Provides a specialised confidential counselling service.  This is a free service for all employees of the department

Process

​The process for this procedure is listed by role under responsibilities.

Additional content will be included in this section following the next scheduled review of this procedure.

Online Resources

​Not Applicable

Review Date

9/01/2013
Attribution CC BY

​Sexual harassment: 
Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature directed towards another person and this behaviour is intended to offend, humiliate or intimidate the person or where a reasonable person would have anticipated the possibility of offence, humiliation or intimidation.

Vilification:
Generally behaviour that happens in a public place and incites others to hate, to have serious contempt of, or severely ridicule individuals or groups because of their race, religion, sexuality and gender identity.

Violence: 
Includes physical violence, which arises out of disputes or adverse interpersonal relations between employees, clients and visitors in and around their place of employment.

Workplace:
Where employees are on departmental duty or are representing the department. The term workplace can include areas beyond the work location and activities outside of work hours. It can include activities such as school camps and excursions, residential or external training courses, Christmas parties and other functions that are officially supported by the department.

Workplace harassment:
The repeated behaviour, other than behaviour amounting to sexual harassment by one or more people in the workplace that:

  • is unwelcome and unsolicited;
  • the employee considers to be offensive, intimidating, humiliating or threatening; and
  • a reasonable person would consider offensive, intimidating, humiliating or threatening.

Workplace harassment can include vilification.

The term ‘workplace harassment’ has replaced what has been more commonly understood as ‘workplace bullying’. The Department recognises ‘workplace bullying’ to have the same definition as ‘workplace harassment’ and, as such, it is considered inappropriate behaviour.

Workplace harassment does not include reasonable action taken by management to address issues of employee performance. It does not include reasonable action taken by the chief executive in connection with a person’s employment.