POLICY

NUMBER

FMEP017

AQTF STANDARDS

ADDRESSED

Standard 8        Clauses 8.5 – 8.6


PURPOSE

To document the Workplace Harassment policy of FMEDGE and to set out arrangements for communication and review of the policy.


 

DEFINITIONS

Harassment is any unwanted, unwelcome or any uninvited behaviour of a nature that makes the person feel humiliated, intimidated or offended. Harassment is unlawful under Commonwealth and State law if it is:

  • Sexual
  • Or based on a person’s
  • Race (ethnic origin)
  • Disability / impairment / physical features
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Sexual preference / activities
  • Political / religious beliefs
  • Pregnancy
  • Status as a parent or carer
  • Marital status
  • Personal association or
  • Industrial activity (union membership or non-membership).

These types of harassment are explained in Point 4 (below).

Bullying is repeated inappropriate behaviour may include one or a combination of the following:

  • Abusive, insulting or offensive language by one or more persons to another or others;
  • Behaviour or language that frightens, humiliates, belittles or degrades, including criticism that is delivered with much yelling and screaming;
  • Inappropriate comments about a person’s appearance, lifestyle, or their family;
  • Teasing or regularly making someone the brunt of pranks or practical jokes;
  • Isolation of employees from others
  • Interfering with a person’s personal effects or work equipment;
  • Physical assault or threats; and
  • Organisational behaviour that undermines treats less favourably or disempowers others. For example, overloading a person with work and setting timelines that are difficult to achieve, setting tasks that are beyond a person’s skill level, deliberately denying access to information, consultation or resources, or unfair treatment in relation to accessing workplace entitlements such as leave or training.

Where bullying involves assault or threat of assault it may become a police matter.

Bullying does not occur where the employer is using their legitimate authority to direct and control how work is done, including monitoring workflow and giving feedback on performance. If an employee has obvious performance problems, these should be identified and dealt with in a constructive way that does not involve personal insults or derogatory remarks. If an employee is dissatisfied with any management practices these concerns should be raised in a professional and courteous manner.


 

ACRONYMS & ABBREVIATIONS

FMEDGE – Focused Management Education Developing Global Enterprise


 

POLICY

Each employee/ student has a right to work in a place that is free from harassment and discrimination. As well as being unlawful, harassment and discrimination adversely affect the wellbeing of individuals and the work environment. As such, harassment and discrimination will not be tolerated in any way.

FMEDGE recognises that harassment is unacceptable to employees as well as to the organisation. Therefore, harassment will not be tolerated at FMEDGE workplace, or whilst employed by the organisation but working off site. All persons responsible for any harassment will be disciplined.

This policy will accomplish the following objectives:

  • Provide a workplace that is free from all forms of harassment, discrimination and bullying
  • Identify some forms of harassment and discrimination
  • Provide a set of procedures to follow for complaints

Harassment can range from relatively minor incidents to serious offences involving criminal charges being laid. FMEDGE is also liable for actions of employees in certain situations.

Employees may be sued personally for harassment. The individual, not the organisation, will have to pay any costs and/or penalties that arise from such a claim.

Sexual Harassment

Unwelcome and uninvited behaviour of a sexual nature that offends, humiliates and/or intimidates another person, this may include:

  • Unnecessary physical contact, e.g. patting, pinching, putting an arm around someone;
  • Sexual suggestions or continual requests for dates:
  • Suggestive comments about a person’s appearance or body:
  • Sexual jokes and insults or taunting based on gender;
  • Leering, wolf whistles, catcalls, obscene gestures;
  • Open display of offensive or pornographic poster, pictures, photographs, written material and objects including screen savers
  • Unwelcome comments about a person’s private life;
  • Indecent exposure, sexual assault or rape (these are also criminal offences);
  • Unwelcome email which may relate to all of the above.

Racial Harassment

Language and/or behaviour that is negative about the colour or racial, ethnic or cultural backgrounds of people (or groups of people) is unacceptable. This may include:

  • displays of offensive racist materials;
  • jokes, verbal abuse, offensive gestures based on race
  • offensive references to a person’s racial, cultural or ethnic background

Disability Harassment

Language and/or behaviour based that is negative on the disability of a person or a group of persons. This may include:

  • displays of offensive material based on disability;
  • jokes or derogatory comments about the person’s disability;
  • intimidation or verbal abuse aimed at a disability of a person;
  • Irrelevant references to a person’s disability.

Other forms of Harassment

Some other examples of behaviour that may include harassment include the following. Jokes, derogatory, comments or verbal abuse about a person’s gender, age, sexual preference, political/religious beliefs, pregnancy, status as a carer, marital status, personal association or industrial activity (union or non-union membership, name calling, physical threats or other types of workplace bullying and workplace pranks).

It is important recognise that behaviour or comments that may not offend one person may be unwelcome or offensive to another. A minor offensive behaviour done repeatedly can become harassment. Harassment can be done by anyone – a manager, co-worker, contractor, service provider, client, student or customer.

All employees have to recognise the cultural difference among employees at FMEDGE. What may be acceptable to one cultural group may be totally unacceptable to another cultural group.

What Sexual Harassment is not

Sexual harassment is not behaviour that is based on mutual attraction, friendship and respect. If the interaction is consensual, welcome and reciprocated it is not sexual harassment.

Responsibility

Every individual employed by FMEDGE is entitled to work and enjoy company functions, such as social gatherings and training programs, in an environment free from harassment. It is the organisation’s responsibility to ensure that:

  • a clearly defined and up to date harassment policy exists;
  • all employees, contractors and external visitors know and understand the policy on harassment, and that correct and professional behaviour is expected from them;
  • effective complaint procedures exist so that any harassment complaints are treated fairly and promptly 
  • the organisation’s harassment policy in all work areas is known
  • an environment is created free from harassment

Employee’s role

Each employee must ensure that they do not engage in harassing behaviour towards other colleagues, subordinates, s, departmental and senior managers, contractors and other external contacts. Employees should be aware that they can be held legally responsible for their unlawful acts. Employees who aid, abet or encourage other persons to harass can also be held legally liable.

Manager’s and Trainers role

Manager’s and trainers have an important role in the prevention of workplace harassment. Firstly, managers and trainers must ensure that they do not harass employees, students, other managers, clients or customers. Secondly, managers and trainers must ensure that their staff understands this policy. When they observe discrimination or harassment, they should take steps to stop it and warn the person of the consequences if the behaviour continues. If a person approaches them with a complaint about harassment, they should take appropriate steps to resolve it. If this is not possible or inappropriate, then the Compliance Manager should be informed.

  • Application of the Policy
    This policy is applicable to FMEDGE, in all its operations and functions including those situations where employees are required to work off site.
  • Consultation 
    FMEDGE is committed to consultation and cooperation between management and employees. FMEDGE will formally involve all persons in any workplace change that will affect the health and safety of any of its employees. 
  • Communication of the Policy
    All personnel, including contractors, are to receive information about the policy at induction and are to be provided with a written copy of the policy after the annual revisions.
    The signed policy is to be printed on A4 size paper and copies displayed in the following areas:
    • OH&S Notice Boards in all work areas
    • Reception areas
  • Authorisation 
    The Policy will be authorised by the Chief Executive Officer.
  • Review 
    The policy will be reviewed every 12 months by the Compliance Manager.
  • Audit Records
    • The current written and dated policy, signed by the Compliance Manager and displayed in the designated areas
    • Induction training content
    • Induction records
    • Distribution lists for policy revisions
  • Procedure Owner
    FMEDGE Compliance Manager is assigned ownership to ensure the procedure is maintained and updated.

 

PROCEDURE

  1. Harassment Complaint Procedure

    An employee who has a complaint of harassment is encouraged to follow FMEDGE’s Harassment Complaint Procedure. This procedure allows the employee to speak informally and/or make a formal complaint. The procedure deals with complaints on a fair and impartial basis and with strict confidentiality standards.

    Procedural Guidelines

    Act immediately – Do not delay in taking action.

    You may wish to tell the person harassing you of your complaint (e.g. the type of behaviour you find offensive) and that you want it to stop. The person might not realise that his/her behaviour offends you and will stop it. However if you do not feel comfortable speaking to the person, talk to your Manager about the problem. If you do speak to the person and the harassment continues report it to your Manager.

    If the problem is too sensitive or embarrassing, you can speak to the Compliance Manager.

    Complaints procedure

  2. All complaints will be dealt with as per the Grievance Policy procedures
  3. The Manager will listen to your complaint, discuss it with you and offer advice and guidance. This will be done in confidence.
  4. In all cases the emphasis will be on finding practical solutions on the re-establishment of good working relationships within FMEDGE.

  5. A prompt and thorough investigation will follow. This will mean interviews with the people involved and any witnesses.
  6. The investigation will be unbiased and impartial.
  7. When the investigation is finished, appropriate action will be taken to solve the problem.
  8. You can have a representative with you during any of these discussions.
  9. The organisation will make every effort to ensure that people involved and/or witnesses are not victimised when a complaint is raised.
  10. The organisation will keep confidential records about complaints. These records will be securely stored by the Compliance Manager and filed separately from employee’s personal files

 

RELATED FORMS

N/A



POLICY PUBLICATION LOCATIONS

Website – Policies and Procedures Tab

Policy Manual

Student Handbook


PERSON RESPONSIBLE

FOR MODIFICATION

& REVIEW

Chief Executive Officer

Compliance Manager


FILE NAME

G:\FMEDGE\Policies Processes and Forms\Policy Template v2.docx


VERSION

1.1


DATE MODIFIED

1 April 2015