The Australian Workplace Barometer Project (2014-2015)Australian Workplace Barometer Project (2014-2015)Australian Workplace Barometer Project (2014-2015) found that workplace bullying costs Australian employers approximately $693 million per annum in lost labour and claims, it is unlikely this figure has decreased since these statistics.
So what can an employer do to decrease the likelihood of bullying happening in their workplace?
Simon Rountree, founder of Change Ready, identified five actions he implementedidentified five actions he implementedidentified five actions he implemented into his workplace to help combat toxic behaviours. This included-
1. taking all matters seriously,
2. regularly consulting with workers,
3. setting the (high) standard of workplace behaviour,
4. allocating sufficient resources, information and training and,
5. being open and transparent.
‘By adding the above actions to your leadership activities you’re not only establishing that you take workplace bullying seriously but you’re also setting the benchmark for other businesses to follow,’ Rountree concluded.
The Australian Workplace Barometer Project also found that workers with low engagement due to harassment or bullying have approximately 12% more sick days per month and an average performance loss of 8%, costing employers $4796 per annum.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) denied that its CEO, Matt Comyn, misled Parliament over the sacking of whistleblower, Tim Cradock. During a set of parliamentary hearings convened in October last year, Comyn said that Cradock was made redundant ‘a significant period of time before [he raised bullying] allegations.’ In fact, Cradock was dismissed a little over a month after raising bullying claims against his manager. In a 12-page letter copied to Comyn, Cradock also raised concerns about the use of referrals to artificially boost performance. After his dismissal in March 2013, Cradock filed proceedings in the federal court. A CBA spokesman recently told Guardian Australia that Comyn’s statement to the parliamentary hearings referred to allegations by Cradock in 2017statement to the parliamentary hearings referred to allegations by Cradock in 2017statement to the parliamentary hearings referred to allegations by Cradock in 2017. To this end, the spokesman said that Comyn’s statements were ‘correct.’ The spokesman also affirmed CBA’s position that Cradock was sacked under a redundancy program that ‘had already commenced … months before the original complaint.’
Adam O’Leary, a Relationship Manager at insurance company, ICare, said that workplace harassment and bullying is the most common cause of mental health claims in NSW. O’Leary noted that it is not easy to manage claims of bullying and harassment. ‘They can be quite personal in nature and can create a challenging working environment, especially when a direct accusation has been made against a colleague or manager,’ he said. Indeed, Esther Ekkelenkamp, an Injury Prevention Specialist at ICare said while ‘workplaces are accustomed to looking at how they can change practices in the business that contribute to physical injuries, employers are less confident managing risks that lead to a reduction in mental health.’employers are less confident managing risks that lead to a reduction in mental health.’employers are less confident managing risks that lead to a reduction in mental health.’
At EEO Specialists we work on providing a holistic service to target the factors that create bullying and to minimise an Employer’s liability. Regular training is one of these factors. We are now taking bookings for 2020. If you want to know more please give us a call on (08) 6102 4411.