Prime Minister Julie Gillard announced last week that a review will be conducted by the House Standing Committee on Education and Employment into bullying in the workplace. The review is expected to consult extensively with the community, and provide a report of the findings by 30 November 2012.
The media release notes that the Productivity Commission has estimated that the total cost of workplace bullying in Australia is between $6 billion and $36 billion annually. That figure, whilst substantial in its own right, does not account for the less tangible costs of workplace bullying, and the effect workplace bullying can have on the affected worker(s) and their families.
The terms of reference of the review will focus on:
- the prevalence of workplace bullying in Australia and the experience of victims of workplace bullying;
- the role of workplace cultures in preventing and responding to bullying and the capacity for workplace-based policies and procedures to influence the incidence and seriousness of workplace bullying;
- the adequacy of existing education and support services to prevent and respond to workplace bullying and whether there are further opportunities to raise awareness of workplace bullying such as community forums;
- whether the scope to improve coordination between governments, regulators, health service providers and other stakeholders to address and prevent workplace bullying;
- whether there are regulatory, administrative or cross-jurisdictional and international legal and policy gaps that should be addressed in the interests of enhancing protection against and providing an early response to workplace bullying, including through appropriate complaint mechanisms;
- whether the existing regulatory frameworks provide a sufficient deterrent against workplace bullying;
- the most appropriate ways of ensuring bullying culture or behaviours are not transferred from one workplace to another; and
- possible improvements to the national evidence base on workplace bullying.
For more information, the media release can be found at: http://www.alp.org.au/federal-government/news/review-into-bullying-in-the-workplace/