Date PostedMarch 28, 2013

Bill Introduced to Address Workplace Bullying

On the 16th March Bill Shorten, the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, announced that the a new bill will be introduced to the House of Representatives to enable victims of bullying to go to Fair Work Australia.

The announcement was made at the launch of the Bully Free Australia Foundation at Essendon Fields and the bill was set to be introduced last week.

Mr Shorten said that if victims of bullying make a submission to fair Work Australia the perpetrator will be prevented from continuing to bully and that the new laws will mean that it is the first time that bullying will be dealt with by workplace laws.

The new provision is scheduled to take effect from the 1st of July.

Julia Gillard, the Australian Prime Minister, said that victims of bullying would be able to have their complaints heard efficiently and the focus would be on investigating complaints so that further bullying can be prevented.

Prime Minister Gillard said that the Federal Government is determined to address bullying in workplaces and schools.

Last year over 2500 people committed suicide in the country and it is estimated that in 80 per cent of the cases bullying was considered to be a contributing factor.

Melbourne will host a national anti bullying forum in July 2013. The forum will be for experts in education and the legal profession and will closely look at young people and the challenges that they face with bullying.

The Productivity Commission released a report on bullying in the workplace and it estimated the cost of bullying to the Australian national economy.

The report found that the annual cost to the country through bullying is between $6 billion and $36 billion because of the subsequent loss of productivity as a result.

Peter Cutforth is a Director at Urban E-Learning, a global elearning and web strategy firm based in George St Brisbane. Peter's interests extend to training, safety and compliance, online marketing, and Mobile Apps.

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