Prevention and Management of Workplace Bullying Policy

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1 Prevention and Management of Workplace Bullying Policy Majestic Hotels June 2016

2 1. PURPOSE The management of Majestic Hotels is committed to providing a professional, safe and healthy work environment, free from discrimination, victimisation and harassment, including workplace bullying, sexual and racial harassment. The objectives of this Policy are to: create an environment that is free from discrimination, harassment and victimisation and where all personnel, including employees are treated with dignity, courtesy and respect; ensure all Employees understand their rights and responsibilities relating to workplace bullying, discrimination and harassment; encourage reporting of behaviour that might breach this Policy; provide an effective procedure for the investigation of complaints or reports of workplace bullying, based on the principles of natural justice; and provide protection from victimisation or reprisals as a result of lodging a complaint or reporting alleged bullying. Discrimination and harassment in connection with the workplace is prohibited under both Federal and State legislation. 2. SCOPE This Policy applies to all officers, directors, managers and Employees of Majestic Hotels. The Policy also applies in relation to service delivery to our customers or when dealing with suppliers. 3. DEFINITIONS Employee means any permanent, casual and temporary person employed directly by the Company. Employer or Company means Majestic Hotels. Manager means Hotel/Property Manager. Policy means this Prevention and Management of Workplace Bullying Policy. Supervisor includes an employee s Manager in circumstances where the Employee directly reports to the Department Manager. Our Ref: Prevention & Management of Workplace Bullying Policy Page 2 of 11

3 4. RESPONSIBILITIES OF MAJESTIC HOTELS Majestic Hotels regards workplace bullying as a workplace health and safety issue. Under this Policy, it will, as far as reasonably practicable: 4.1 ensure that employees and others are not exposed to health or safety risks from workplace bullying; 4.2 ensure compliance with legislation relevant to workplace bullying; 4.3 ensure that appropriate resources and processes are in place to eliminate or minimise the risks from workplace bullying; 4.4 monitor the use and effectiveness of those resources and processes; and 4.5 ensure appropriate information, training and awareness of this Policy and associated procedures. 5. RESPONSIBILITIES OF SUPERVISORS AND MANAGERS 5.1 Ensure all Employees are aware of and have access to the Policy and any associated procedures. 5.2 Ensure all Employees know what acceptable conduct is by setting a positive personal example. 5.3 Counsel Employees about behaviour which is discriminatory or harassing, or that may develop into discrimination or harassment in accordance with the Policy. 5.4 Inform Employees of their rights and obligations in respect to raising issues about inappropriate behaviour in the workplace if they feel it is or has the potential to adversely affect them, or other persons in connection with the workplace. 5.5 Reinforce Employees right to raise a matter about behaviour in the workplace if they feel it is affecting them adversely. 5.6 Create Employee confidence in the Company commitment to a work environment free of discrimination and harassment by ensuring investigations, and where appropriate, actions are taken in a timely and objective manner. 5.7 Monitor individual Employee behaviour that has changed in relation to potential indicators of hidden workplace bullying such as lowered work performance, isolation from colleagues, unexplained absenteeism and increased use of personal/carer s leave. 5.8 Take action to ensure that complainants are not victimised or treated unfairly for making a complaint. Our Ref: Prevention & Management of Workplace Bullying Policy Page 3 of 11

4 6. RESPONSIBILITY OF EMPLOYEES AND CONTRACTORS 6.1 Prevent workplace bullying, discrimination or harassment by maintaining an appropriate standard of behaviour in the workplace, work social events and outside work hours through text messages and social media, by treating fellow Employees, and any personnel in connection with the workplace with courtesy and respect. 6.2 Clearly communicate their feelings, in a constructive manner, to other Employees who they feel are harassing or acting in a discriminatory way towards them. 6.3 Raise bullying, harassment or discrimination issues with their Supervisor if unresolved through personal approaches, or where personal approaches are not appropriate in the circumstances. 6.4 Actively contribute to a positive and productive work environment and inclusive workplace culture. 6.5 Report suspected breaches of this Policy. 7. OBLIGATIONS 7.1 Breach of this Policy Majestic Hotels requires and expects compliance with this Policy. Any breach may lead to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment, depending on the seriousness of the circumstances. Vexatious complaints that is, deliberately making a false complaint in order to create problems for someone else may also lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. 7.2 Discrimination Discrimination in employment on the following grounds is unlawful: Sex Marital status Sexuality Pregnancy Family responsibilities Physical or intellectual impairment Political or religious beliefs Age Race Medical record Trade union activity Our Ref: Prevention & Management of Workplace Bullying Policy Page 4 of 11

5 Social origin Workplace rights The Company will ensure equal opportunity principles are incorporated into, and discrimination is eliminated from, all employment matters, including: recruitment and selection; policies, practices and procedures; terms and conditions for work including wages and other benefits; training, promotion and transfer of employees; the methods and reasons for ending employment; and allocation of work and roles. The Company will take all reasonable steps to ensure a workplace culture that does not tolerate discrimination or harassment. 7.3 Workplace Bullying Workplace bullying is defined as behaviour that is directed towards an Employee or group of Employees, that: is repeated or persistent; and a reasonable person, having regard to all the circumstances, would expect to victimise, humiliate, undermine or threaten the person(s) to whom the behaviour is directed; and creates a risk to health and safety. Examples of behaviour, whether intentional or unintentional, that may be considered to be workplace bullying if they are repeated, unreasonable and create a risk to health and safety include: excluding or isolating an Employee or Employees from workplace activities; giving someone the majority of unpleasant or meaningless tasks; giving Employees impossible or unreasonably difficult assignments (e.g. that are outside the skill and competence of the Employee); verbal abuse; humiliating someone through sarcasm or insults; intimidation or threatening behaviour; deliberately changing work hours to cause inconvenience to particular Employees; deliberately withholding information that is vital for effective work performance; Our Ref: Prevention & Management of Workplace Bullying Policy Page 5 of 11

6 deliberately damaging personal property; abusive, insulting or offensive language or comments; unjustified criticism or complaints; sarcastic, embarrassing or belittling comments; setting unreasonable timelines or constantly changing deadlines; denying access to information, supervision, consultation or resources such that itis detrimental to the worker; spreading misinformation or malicious rumours; or changing work arrangements, such as rosters and leave, to deliberately inconvenience a particular worker or workers. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list. Other types of behaviour may also constitute bullying if it creates a risk to health and safety. Any other unreasonable behaviour is unacceptable and may amount to a breach of this Policy and may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment. Reasonable management action is not Workplace Bullying Bullying (and harassment) should not be confused with a Manager s right to exercise authority in an appropriate and professional manner. It is acceptable for a Manager/Supervisor to give legitimate direction, give performance reviews, counsel an Employee on their performance and deal with complaints and misconduct in accordance with the policies and guidelines of the Company. It is accepted that differences in opinion can and will occur and they should not constitute bullying in themselves. Behaviour outside of work Workplace bullying is not limited to behaviour only occurring inside the workplace. It can also include communication by , text messaging and social media. If the bullying can be proven to be sufficiently connected to employment, outside of work behaviour may still be subject to policies and legislative obligations providing employers with the lawful ability to manage any such issues in those circumstances. Our Ref: Prevention & Management of Workplace Bullying Policy Page 6 of 11

7 7.4 Sexual Harassment Sexual harassment is any unwelcome or uninvited behaviour of a sexual nature that causes offence, intimidation or humiliation and it is reasonable in the circumstances to feel that way. Harassment can be physical, verbal or visual in nature. Examples of unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature include, but are not limited to: uninvited physical contact; verbal remarks with sexual connotations; any action or comment of a sexual nature; display of inappropriate objects or pictures, written s or text messages; questions or insinuations about a person s private life; sexually explicit jokes, banter or innuendo; persistent requests for social contact or sexual favours where these are unwelcome; viewing, downloading or printing pornography or sexually explicit material; or offensive communication including messages, voic , text messages, letters, telephone calls and/or facsimile. Harassment may occur even if it is not intentional. It is the impact of the behaviour on the person concerned that is important, not the intention of the harasser. Sexual harassment can be the result of: a single incident; a series of incidents over a period of time; or the workplace environment. Sexual harassment can occur during working hours or outside the normal workplace, for example, during training or at work social functions. The Company aims to provide an environment where an Employee can work without feeling in any way threatened or concerned that they will be subjected to offensive, humiliating or intimidating behaviour of a sexual nature. Our Ref: Prevention & Management of Workplace Bullying Policy Page 7 of 11

8 7.5 Victimisation Victimisation means treating someone unfairly because they have acted on their rights under equal opportunity or harassment law or because they have supported someone else who acted upon those rights. Current legislation prohibits the victimisation of individuals who: intend to make a complaint; make a complaint; intend to provide information as a witness; provide information as a witness; or support an individual who intends to make a complaint or who has made a complaint. The above list is not intended to be exhaustive. The Company will take all necessary steps to ensure that people involved in a complaint are not victimised by anyone for coming forward with the complaint or for helping to resolve it. 7.6 Discrimination and Harassment Contact Officer The Discrimination and Harassment Contact Officer, has been specially trained to provide confidential information and support to Employees who believe they may have a complaint relating to discrimination, harassment or victimisation. The role of the Contact Officer is to: provide advice and support to Employees; assist an Employee to understand the definition of discrimination and harassment; explain how the complaint s procedure works; provide confidential information about the most appropriate way to deal with the problem and some options for actions; where appropriate, refer the Employee to organisations who provide specialist advice or support and if required, accompany the Employee to the appointment; maintain statistical information relating to discrimination and harassment enquiries and complaints to assist in policy review and planning of training and awareness raising; and undertake an educative role in the workplace and, where appropriate, raising awareness of responsibilities in relation to discrimination and harassment The Contact Officer does not investigate the complaint. Our Ref: Prevention & Management of Workplace Bullying Policy Page 8 of 11

9 7.7 Resolution of Complaints The following is a summary of the resolution options available to an Employee who feels they have been bullied or subjected to any other unreasonable behaviour. The most appropriate option will depend on the circumstances of the specific case Self-help Self-help is most often the first step in workplace bullying, discrimination and harassment situations. It involves the Employee personally addressing the problem with the other person concerned, either alone or with the support of someone else. It involves advising the person concerned, either in person or in writing, that their behaviour is offensive and request that it stop. The person may be unaware of the negative impact of their actions and advising them may prevent recurrence Informal Intervention Informal intervention occurs when the Employee decides to have a neutral party intervene on his or her behalf, without a formal complaint being made. The Employee may raise the matter with their Manager, Supervisor or Senior Manager and discuss possible solutions. Those solutions may include: sending a general message on appropriate behaviours to all staff, or a reminder of this Policy; and/or the neutral party discussing the behaviour with the person concerned, the impact on the complainant and request the behaviour stop Formal Complaint If the matter is not resolved through informal processes or, it is a serious breach of the Policy, the Employee can lodge a formal written complaint with their Manager, Supervisor or Senior Manger. A formal investigation will be conducted in accordance with the Counselling and Discipline Procedure. The written complaint must set out the: name(s) of the person(s) who is alleged to have engaged in the workplace bullying; specific details of the alleged bullying; impacts/effects of these practices on the employee; dates (and any other information) about when the incidents occurred; names of any witnesses; details of any action already taken; and Employee s desired outcomes. Our Ref: Prevention & Management of Workplace Bullying Policy Page 9 of 11

10 A formal investigation must then be conducted and the outcome notified to the Employees concerned as appropriate. The notification should take into account confidentiality and privacy requirements. Nothing in this Policy limits an employee s right to lodge a complaint with a relevant external organisation. After consideration of all internal options, the complainant may choose to pursue the matter externally. External options include: the Equal Opportunity Commission; external advice and/or representation; or various community help groups. 7.8 Obligation to Investigate Importantly, even if a formal, written complain is not made and the Company becomes aware of an issue or a potential issue, the Company has a duty to investigate appropriately. That is, an Employee may not lodge a written complaint or, an Employee raising a complaint may not want the complaint investigated however, the Company may be legally (and /or morally) obligated to investigate the complaint. 7.9 Confidentiality All details of complaints of discrimination and harassment will remain confidential to the extent legally permissible unless specific permission from the complainant is granted. Any person who breaches confidentiality may be disciplined. It is also important that the complainant keeps the matter confidential (this will avoid idle gossip and the possibility of defamation proceedings against the complainant or the Company) Record Keeping It is important that written records are kept of any complaints of discrimination or harassment and of any follow-up action, as these may be required as evidence should the allegations be taken to the Equal Opportunity Commission or other court or tribunal. The Manager is responsible for accurate, concise and confidential record keeping. Our Ref: Prevention & Management of Workplace Bullying Policy Page 10 of 11

11 8. RESOLUTION OF COMPLAINTS Key Principles Complaints will be investigated and resolved using the following key principles. Control of risk: The health and safety of Employees is paramount and is to be the first consideration. Promptness: Complaints will be investigated and dealt with promptly. Confidentiality: Details of complaints will kept as confidential as possible, and will be revealed only to the parties involved as necessary to deal effectively with the issue, or as required by law. Whilst there will be appropriate sensitivity (e.g. when discussing the matter with witnesses), some disclosure might be necessary to adequately investigate the complaint. This will be done in consultation with the complainant. All participants will be required to maintain appropriate confidentiality and breaches may result in disciplinary action. Outcomes sought: The Employee s informed choice about how the matter should be resolved will be taken into account. However, these must be balanced with the other key principles as appropriate to the specific circumstances and of parties concerned. Procedural fairness: During or following investigation, Employees have the right to understand any allegations against them, to be given an opportunity to respond to the allegations before any decisions are made about them, and to have access to support and representation at any stage. 9. REFERENCES Code of Conduct EMS 10. MONITORING AND REVIEW The Human Resource Coordinator and General Manager or other position as designated is responsible to review this Policy on an annual basis. Our Ref: Prevention & Management of Workplace Bullying Policy Page 11 of 11

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