1. Application

1.1 Right to dignity and respect

It is an employee’s right, and a volunteer’s right, (in this policy called “employee”) to be treated with dignity and respect, and it is an employee’s responsibility to treat others the same way.

In this policy, the term “employee” includes employees, workers, contractors, outworkers, apprentices, trainees, work experience students and volunteers.

1.2 Application of policy

Peter Hewitt Care for Africa Foundation Inc (CfA) is committed to providing a workplace free of all forms of harassment and bullying, as prescribed by Commonwealth and state legislation. CfA is committed to meeting its legislative obligations relating to harassment and bullying, and will take all reasonable, practicable steps to provide and maintain a working environment free from these behaviours.

This policy applies to all activities, and all people involved in those activities, that take place on work premises and where activities are undertaken in the course of employment, or at work-related activities, such as social functions. This policy covers employees, contractors, customers and visitors.

An internal grievance resolution process assists employees to raise issues of concern. All complaints will be treated confidentially, seriously and sympathetically. No employee will be penalised or disadvantaged as a result of raising any genuine concern or complaint.

Relevant and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against anyone found to have breached this policy.

2. Harassment

2.1 What is harassment

Harassment is unwelcome behaviour which:

a)   offends, humiliates or intimidates another person; or

b)   is likely to offence, humiliate or intimidate another person.

The fact that no offence is intended by the behaviour does not mean that harassment has not occurred. If the behaviour has the effect of being offensive, humiliating or intimidating, that is usually enough.

Harassment may occur as a single act, a series of incidents, or persistent innuendos or threats. It can take many forms, be silent or loud, subtle or openly hostile, and it may be private or public.

2.2. Examples of harassment

The following examples may constitute harassment in the workplace:

a)   swearing in the workplace;

b)   gossiping about a person;

c)   making, circulating or displaying jokes containing inappropriate or offensive content;

d)   intrusive enquiries into another person’s personal life, including his or her religion, family or private matters;

e)   constantly monitoring what someone else is doing, giving negative criticism or “nitpicking”;

f)   openly displaying pictures, posters, graffiti or written materials which might be offensive to some; and

g)   communications via phone, email or computer networks which are threatening, abusive or offensive to others.

3. Sexual Harassment

3.1. What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment occurs when a person makes an unwelcome sexual advance, an unwelcome request for sexual favours or engages in any other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in relation to another person.

3.2. Examples of harassment

Sexual harassment may take various forms, such as:

a)   sexual advances and requests for sexual favours;

b)   inappropriate physical contact or unnecessary familiarity;

c)   offensive comments on physical appearance, dress or private life;

d)   lewd jokes;

e)   public display of pornography in the workplace, including on the internet by email, or on mobile phones;

f)   wolf whistling;

g)   unsolicited physical contact, such as patting or pinching;

h)   public display of nudity; and

i)   sexual violence, indecent or sexual assault.

Some of the above may also amount to a criminal offence.

Sexual harassment often relates to a misuse of power to create an unequal working relationship.

This policy is not about prohibiting friendships at work or genuine consenting relationships.

4. Bullying

4.1. What is bullying?

Workplace bullying is a form of harassment. It includes repeated, unreasonable behaviour that demeans, intimidates, victimises, threatens or humiliates people, either as individuals or as a group.

Bullying is not necessarily related to an attribute a person has. Bullying may involve a risk to the work, health and safety of employees.

4.2. Examples of bullying

Workplace bullying includes, but is not limited to, behaviours such as:

a)   verbal abuse, threats, sarcasm or other forms of demeaning or intimidating language or communication;

b)   psychological harassment;

c)   physical intimidation;

d)   putting employees through initiation rituals;

e)   deliberate change of work duties for the purpose of victimisation;

f)   sabotage of another person’s work;

g)   placing unreasonable work demands on people;

h)   ridiculing another’s opinion;

i)   exclusion from work activities of which the person would reasonably expect to be a part; and

j)   threatening to take unjustified action against a person unless he or she complies with unreasonable requests.

4.3. What bullying does not include

Bullying does not cover situations where an employee feels aggrieved about legitimate and reasonable:

a)   performance management processes;

b)   disciplinary action in line with company policy; and

c)   allocation of work in compliance with systems and role requirements.

5. What to do if you have a complaint?

CfA aims to resolve all complaints of harassment and bullying which may arise at the workplace. CfA can only do this if employees tell the company about their complaints.

CfA aims to treat all such complaints seriously, quickly and as confidentially as is reasonably possible.

If you think you are being harassed or bullied or both, you should not ignore the conduct, hoping it will go away. If you can, you should speak to the person responsible for the conduct and ask that person to stop. If you do not feel that you can do this, or it doesn’t work, you should talk to your manager, the or the CEO, Diana Butler

The CEO may be contacted at any time to discuss any complaint or enquiry, general advice or to discuss any issue.

CfA through its CEO may also investigate complaints. Depending on what you want, and on the nature of the complaint, it might be appropriate for CfA to make a formal determination about what has happened, and to make a decision about what the consequences should be.

6. What to do if your complaint is not resolved or the bullying continues?

If the complaints process is completed and you are not satisfied that the bullying behaviour has ceased, then you may proceed to make an application to the Fair Work Commission for an order to stop the bullying. The Fair Work Commission will deal with all such applications within 14 days of lodgement.

In considering the application, the Fair Work Commission must take into account any matters the Commission considers relevant, including the:

a)   outcomes of any investigation into the matter at a workplace level, whether undertaken by the workplace, or another person;

b)   procedures available to resolve grievances or disputes; and

c)   outcomes arising out of any procedure available to the employee to resolve grievances or disputes.

7. Conduct which breaches this policy

Conduct which breaches this policy is unacceptable. Depending on the severity and circumstances, breach of this policy may lead to disciplinary action, regardless of the seniority of the particular individuals involved.

CfA will take appropriate disciplinary action against an employee who is responsible for, or engages in, any form of harassment or bullying.

Disciplinary action might include any of:

a)   demotion;

b)   a requirement to provide a written or verbal apology;

c)   a formal warning;

d)   a requirement to attend training or counseling; and

e)   dismissal.

8. Further information

If you require further information, please speak with your manager.

CFA-P11.V1 Harassment and Bullying Policy – Effective Date: 26 April 2020 Document Approved By: Board of Management.

Controlled Document — Printed Versions are not controlled.