Definition: “The repeated less favourable treatment of a person by another or others in the workplace, which may be considered unreasonable and inappropriate workplace practice. It includes behaviour that intimidates, offends, degrades or humiliates a worker.”
Bullying and intimidation is unsolicited action, which may be direct or imposed by indirect means. It may occur in one-to-one situations, in front of managers or supervisors, co-workers, clients or customers or by written, visual, electronic communication such as letter, drawings, e-mails or telephone communications.
Bullying can takes place between a manager or supervisor and a subordinate and between co-workers.
All Staff have an obligation and responsibility to pro-actively promote a workplace free of workplace bullying and intimidation between supervisor and subordinates and between staff members. Staff who fail to act on incidents and reports of workplace bullying and intimidation may be subject to disciplinary action.
Types of Behaviour
Bullying behaviours range from the very obvious such as physical and verbal assault and abuse through to the very subtle such as continually undermining another person. The following are examples of the types of behaviour that might constitute bullying and intimidation;
The policy recognizes that in some situations, people may not be aware that their behaviour is unacceptable or offensive, because such behaviour has become part of the prevailing culture of the workplace. It is the Managing Director’s role to set acceptable standards and apprise staff of their expectations.
Staff have a responsibility to:
A staff member who feels they are being bullied or intimidated may:
Staff members who feel they are being bullied or intimidated may seek to resolve the issue through conciliation. Requests for conciliation should be made to the Managing Director. Conciliation shall be confidential and with the objective of reaching an agreed settlement between the person raising the allegation of bullying or intimidation and the person or persons complained against.
No person can be required to participate in conciliation but must be informed that the allegations have been made against them, which could lead to a formal complaint.
Making a Formal Complaint
A staff member who feels they are being bullied or intimidated is entitled to make a formal complaint to the Managing Director to assess whether an investigation is warranted. The Managing Director may seek further information from the complainant to ascertain whether an investigation is warranted. The complaint should include details of what informal steps have been taken to seek to resolve the matter or, if these have not been taken, why they are inappropriate.
Unless the Managing Director is convinced that the complaint is frivolous or malicious, they will investigate an investigation of the complaint in circumstances where:
If the Managing Director is convinced that the complaint is frivolous, vexatious or malicious, they may consider disciplinary action.
Investigation of Formal Complaints
Where the Managing Director assesses that an investigation of a complaint is warranted, they will instigate a formal investigation into whether or not bullying or intimidation has occurred and, if so, who have been the perpetrators.
The person(s) against whom the complaint is made will be informed of the allegations and advised of their entitlement to be assisted by a work colleague or representative. They will also be advised that the outcome of the investigation could lead to disciplinary action including termination of employment.
The Managing Director shall ensure that whatever the outcome for the complaint, the complainant is not victimized.
The investigation may be conducted by the Managing Director or by a person assigned by the Managing Director. It will involve gathering evidence from the complainant, the person(s) against whom the complaint is made and other relevant persons. The investigation shall be made in a timely manner, but ensure that everyone involved has adequate time and resources to provide relevant information. The report of the investigation shall be provided to the Managing Director (if conducted independently), the complainant and the person(s) against whom the complaint was made.
Any findings leading to disciplinary action in regards to workplace bullying or intimidation will be considered misconduct or serious misconduct by Kickstart Coaching leading to termination of employment.
All information gathered from participants in informal and formal complaints of workplace bullying or intimidation is privileged information so long as the complaint is made and dealt with in accordance with the Kickstart Coaching Workplace Bulling and Intimidation Policy. This privilege extends to employees of Kickstart Coaching who are representing or assisting complainants and those complained against. Kickstart Coaching undertakes to protect and indemnify such staff members by defence of qualified privilege.
This privilege does not extend to: