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Free Bullying and Harassment Policy Template

Download our free Bullying and Harassment Policy Template:

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Bullying and Harassment Policy examplePurpose of a Bullying and Harassment Policy Document

A Bullying and Harassment Policy  aims at addressing and preventing bullying and harassment in the workplace. The policy clearly outlines what constitutes bullying and harassment to help employees understand the types of behavior that will not be tolerated.

How to Use

This Bullying and Harassment Policy document  should be printed, signed by your director and displayed somewhere prominent in the workplace. It should also be communicated to new workers as part of their induction or onboarding process. This document is a template only and it must be customised for your business. Other aspects that may need to be considered include, but are not limited to, ensuring that:

  • Relevant legal requirements have been met,
  • Workplace specific risks are identified and managed, and
  • Workers are consulted with during the customisation / review process.

When to Use

As stated above, this document should be displayed in your organization at all times. You should also use it during employee inductions or you may wish to refresh your workers on the contents of the policy periodically as part of a safety meeting or similar forum.

Who Should Use

This document should be signed by the company director or other senior manager. It can be used by your Safety Advisor, Project Manager or other Manager to communicate the requirements to workers (including new workers).

Legal Considerations

There is no specific legal requirement to have or display a Bullying and Harassment Policy. However, it is best practice, especially for larger companies. It can help meet general legal duties, including:

  • s(55)c WHS Regulations – Managing Psychosocial Risks

Workers also have legal responsibilities that may be breached engaging in bullying or harassment, including:

  • s(28) WHS Act – Duty of workers:
    • Taking care of yourself
    • Taking care of others

FAQ

What is bullying in Australia?

Bullying is persistent and intentional abuse of power in a social setting. It can manifest as acts of verbal, physical, or social aggression that aim to inflict physical, social, or psychological damage.

What is harassment in Australia?

Harassment is when someone keeps doing things that are not wanted and make another person feel uncomfortable for no good reason. It includes many kinds of bad behavior, like saying things or making movements that make someone feel small, ashamed, or scared.

Is text harassment a crime in Australia?

Intimidation, mistreatment, and harassment via text messages might constitute a criminal act. But, whether a crime has been committed will depend on the severity and frequency of the texting.

Can you be fired for bullying or harassment?

If a bullying and harassment policy or procedure exists and you breach it, then you may be subject to disciplinary action (which may include termination). You may face disciplinary action even if no policy or procedure exists, but it is best if the employer has a policy or procedure in place.

Article Sources and Further Reading

  1. Bullying (Safe Work Australia) <https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/safety-topic/hazards/bullying>
  2. Guide for preventing and responding to workplace bullying (Safe Work Australia) <https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/system/files/documents/1702/guide-preventing-responding-workplace-bullying.pdf>
  3. WHS Psychosocial Regulations: Do employers have a duty of care for mental health at work? (Spire Safety) https://spiresafety.com.au/resources/mental-health-in-the-workplace/
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