What’s Been Happening in Australia in Relation to Sexual Harassment, Discrimination and Bullying from 23 November 2020 – 29 November 2020

Local Council Granted Exemption to Get Women into Truck Driving Roles

The Ipswich City Council in Queensland has successfully applied for an exemption under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (QLD). The exemption will allow the Ipswich Council to target women specifically for Waste Services Truck Driver jobs and assist them in gaining their Heavy Rigid (HR) licences. Recognising that less than 4% of all QLD truck drivers are female, the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) granted the exemption in an effort to reduce imbalances in gender hiring.

Report Highlights Bullying at Sheriff’s Office

A 253-page report has revealed shocking details of bullying and harassment at the Sheriff’s Office. Spearheaded by MP Geoff Brock, the enquiry followed several complaints from South Australia and Queensland employees about their experiences at the Sheriff’s Office. Mr Brock explained that ‘[t]he issue was taken up by the Legislative Council of Parliament of South Australia’s Statutory Authorities Review Committee who called for people who had substantiated concerns or evidence of concerns while working for the Sheriff’s office to come forward.’ ‘Despite dozens of other victims who did not come forward with submissions and attempts by the Courts Administration Authority (CAA) to discourage others from appearing before the parliamentary committee, the evidence became overwhelming,’ he continued. The damning report uncovered a toxic culture of bullying and harassment which reportedly spanned over a decade. The report stated that cultural problems cost taxpayers more than $1.5m in workplace and psychological compensation payments in only one year. The report also found that many officers now suffered from depression, anxiety and mental health disorders. The report contains a host of recommendations, including that the Office be stripped of its ‘despotic’ power over sheriff’s officers.

Allegations of Senior Crown Employee Being a Bully

Crown Resorts has stood by its decision to employ a high-level executive, despite accusations of workplace bullying and harassment. Hand-picked by James Packer, Todd Nisbet was hired as executive vice-president of strategy and development to oversee development of Crown Resorts $2.2 billion Barangaroo casino. However, six current and former staff of Crown Resorts recently told The Age that Mr Nisbet’s intimidating behaviour prompted many human resources complaints. Mr Nisbet’s behaviour included authoring a 2016 email which attacked a subordinate as being ‘some f—wit commercial manager.’ Lee Monfort, Crown’s former vice-president of design and construction said ‘[t]here is no other business I know of that tolerates this type of behaviour from anyone within their company.’ ‘Todd’s behaviour is out of control and all Crown employees that work for him, or for that matter in other departments around him, must know that they can file a complaint with Human Resources in the future without retaliation from Todd,’ Monfort continued. Mr Nisbet has since denied all allegations.