With the introduction of bullying legislation this year Swaab Attorneys say the Fair Work Commission was given the power to make “Stop Bullying Orders” to protect employees who have experienced/continue to experience workplace bullying. In its first decision an employee subject to the order has been directed to:
- Have no contact with the co-worker alone.
- Make no comment about the co-worker’s clothes or appearance.
- Refrain from sending any emails or texts to the co-worker except in emergency circumstances.
- “Complete any exercise” at the employer’s premises before 8am.
- Raise no work-related issues without first notifying the employer’s chief operating officer or his subordinate.
Managing such orders will be challenging; particularly when managers want to take leave and will not be there to police it, highlighting the need for prevention through staff training to avoid the potential involvement of the FWC in the workplace.