Harassment and Bullying
Harassment and Bullying
This guide discusses the main points employers should be aware of in preventing and dealing with harassment in the workplace.
Harassment can take many forms. Any form of harassment that is defined by law may be best approached according to that law, however if the harassment is not defined by law then it may well be lawful conduct in employment. Harassment can occur in a variety of ways. Any behaviour that is motivated by a desire to threaten or intimidate a person for any reason can amount to harassment.
Bullying is a term that has not been specifically defined in legislation or case law. However it is a term that is often used to describe repeated behaviours that are perceived to be inappropriate, abusive and/or offensive to the recipient. Employers are obliged to protect their employees, and others entering the work site, from harassment and bullying arising out of employment. Furthermore, if harassment has occurred, employers are obliged to manage the situation in a manner that prevents and discourages recurrence. Bullying and harassment policies should outline what behaviour(s) may constitute harassment or bullying, and should clearly state that such conduct will not be tolerated. The policy should outline how a complaint should be made, the process of investigating the complaint, what sanctions may be taken against employees who are found to have harassed or bullied another person, and how the victim will be supported by the employer.
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