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Last month the Supreme Court of Victoria awarded a part-time retail assistant $592,554.38 for lost earnings and compensation for workplace bullying between 2002 and 2007.

This is a timely reminder for employers about the importance of compliance with Australian workplace laws such as the new workplace bullying laws recently passed by the Parliament of Australia.

Are you ready for Australia’s new workplace bullying laws?

On 1 January 2014, Australia’s new workplace bullying laws will commence as a result of the Fair Work Amendment Bill 2013. 

What are the new workplace bullying laws?

Under the new laws, employees, contractors, volunteers and others working in most businesses will be able to lodge claims of workplace bullying directly with Australia’s employment tribunal – the Fair Work Commission (FWC).

What is bullying?

Bullying is defined to mean repeated unreasonable behaviour that creates a risk to health and safety, but does not include ‘reasonable management action carried out in a reasonable manner’. This is consistent with the definition in the draft Bullying Code.

Powers of FWC?

The FWC will have the power to issue so-called ‘Stop-Bullying Orders’ and, if you breach one of these orders, you could face a penalty of more than $50,000.

The FWC expects receive more than 3500 bullying-related claims against employers each year – you could be one of them.

Is your business ready?

Better HR has developed a New Workplace Bullying Laws Checklist to help determine if your business is ready.

If you answer no to any of the questions, we strongly recommend you seek professional advice from the team here at Better HR.

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