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Bullying in the Workplace Procedures

procedure

These procedures must be read in conjunction with the Bullying in the Workplace Policy.

2. Scope

These procedures apply to all employees.

Guidance

These procedures apply to all worksites, including examination centres, off-site and after-hours work-related activities such as training courses, conferences, telephone calls, emails, social media and social functions.

3. Procedures

3.1 Responsibilities of Directors of Education, Executive Directors and Directors

Directors of Education, Executive Directors and Directors must:

  • demonstrate professional and ethical behaviour;
  • provide strategic leadership and system-level implementation of measures to facilitate and promote the prevention and effective management of workplace bullying;     
  • inform principals or line managers of their responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (OSH Act), related legislation and Department policies; and
  • address bullying grievances if:
    • grievances have not been resolved at the school or workplace;
    • the principal or line manager is the subject of the grievance; and/or
    • the principal or line manager has a conflict of interest.

3.2 Responsibilities of principals and line managers

Principals and line managers must:

  • demonstrate professional and ethical behaviour;
  • prevent and address workplace bullying by:
    • facilitating a respectful and inclusive workplace culture focused on the care and wellbeing of staff;
    • informing employees of relevant legislation, policies and support services related to workplace bullying in an induction process and, as required, during their employment;
    • monitoring the workplace for conduct that may constitute bullying and addressing any occurrences;
    • addressing unreasonable or inappropriate conduct of visitors;
    • resolving employee grievances in accordance with the Grievance Framework; and
  • report incidents of workplace bullying that may constitute misconduct to the Standards and Integrity Directorate, in accordance with Report staff misconduct (staff only).

Guidance

Further information and examples of bullying behaviour are available in Appendix A – Workplace Bullying Behaviour.

Bullying between staff is managed under the Grievance Framework.  

The Grievance Resolution Procedure in the School Education Act Employees’ (Teachers and Administrators) General Agreement does not apply to occupational safety and health matters (including bullying); refer to clause 47.2. 

Bullying in the workplace is unlawful under the OSH Act.  Duties of employers are listed in:

WorkSafe determines non-compliance with provisions of the OSH Act and Regulations and may issue an improvement notice where bullying incidents are reported. WorkSafe provides information on bullying and their role in the Frequently Asked Questions.

The authority to manage visitors (including parents/guardians, volunteers, contractors and community members) on Department worksites is governed by section 57A of the OSH Act.  Principals can also refer to the Department’s Visitors and Intruders on School Premises Policy.

Bullying involving grounds of discrimination, such as a person’s race, sexual orientation, age

and sexual or racial harassment, may also be a breach of the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 and Equal Opportunity, Discrimination and Harassment Policy.

The Accountable and Ethical Decision Making online module is a mandatory training requirement for all staff under the Staff Induction Policy.  This is available under the Professional Learning tab on Ikon (staff only).

Information and support resources:

3.3 Responsibilities of employees

Employees must:

  • demonstrate professional and ethical behaviour;
  • not place the safety and health of others at risk by engaging in bullying behaviour, as outlined in section 20 of the OSH Act;
  • raise and attempt to resolve workplace behaviour issues early using the Grievance Framework;
  • report workplace bullying incidents to the principal or line manager (or superordinate if principal or line manager is the subject of the grievance) for a resolution process to be undertaken; and  
  • cooperate with grievance resolution processes and abide by any grievance resolution agreement, decision or directive.

Guidance

Bullying in the workplace is unlawful under the OSH Act.

Bullying between staff is managed under the Grievance Framework.  

The Grievance Resolution Procedure in the School Education Act Employees’ (Teachers and Administrators) General Agreement does not apply to occupational safety and health matters (including bullying); refer to clause 47.2. 

To clarify and address any issue or incident related to bullying behaviour, employees are encouraged to:

Expected standards of professional and ethical behaviour are detailed in Commissioner’s Instruction No 7: Code of Ethics and the Department’s:

Workplace bullying involving misconduct may be referred by the principal or line manager to the Department’s Standards and Integrity Directorate for assessment or investigation.  Where a breach of discipline has occurred, disciplinary action under section 80A of the Public Sector Management Act 1994 may be taken.  Refer to Report staff misconduct (staff only)

Information and resources:

3.4 Confidentiality

Principals, line managers and employees must maintain confidentiality in relation to a grievance, with information only divulged to those involved in the grievance process, with due regard to the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 1992

4. Definitions

The person to whom an individual’s line manager reports or a more senior manager.

Bullying is repeated unreasonable or inappropriate behaviour directed towards an employee, or group of employees, that creates a risk to health and safety.

5. Related documents

6. Contact information

Policy manager:

Director, Workforce Policy and Coordination

Policy contact officer:

Manager, Workforce Policy

T:  9264 5081

Other:

Standards and Integrity (staff only)

T:  1800 655 985

Employee Assistance Program (staff only)

T: 1300 307 912

7. History of changes

Effective date Last update date Procedure version no.
8 February 2013 1.6
Changes to policy resulting from publication of Grievance Framework guideline. Changes approved by Corporate Executive 16 November 2012. D12/0812988
8 February 2013 11 July 2013 1.6
Amendments of references to documents as per D13/0222254.
8 February 2013 18 December 2014 1.7
Contact details updated D14/0555685.
10 March 2015 2.0
Major review. Procedures endorsed for publishing by Director General at Corporate Executive on 1 December 2014.
10 March 2015 22 January 2016 2.1
Minor changes to guidance in s3.3, contact information and updated links D16/0025669
10 March 2015 9 March 2017 2.2
Minor changes to replace references to Substantive Equality Policy with Substantive Equality Guidelines and updated links D17/0104478 and D17/0104471.
16 October 2018 3.0
Major review of Workplace Bullying Policy and Procedures, renamed Bullying in the Workplace. Endorsed by the Director General at Corporate Executive on 19 September 2018.
16 October 2018 22 April 2020 3.1
Minor changes to update links, related documents and include additional guidance information. D20/0201954
16 October 2018 13 January 2021 3.2
Minor changes to replace the Regional Executive Director position title with Director of Education D20/0647278.

9. More information

This procedure:

Download procedure PDFBullying in the Workplace Procedures v3.2

Please ensure you also download the policy supported by this procedure.


Supported policy:

Download Policy PDFBullying in the Workplace Policy


Supporting content:


Procedure review date

16 October 2021

Procedure last updated

13 January 2021