On 8th February in Melbourne, Australia, a Magistrate fined a business owner $220,000 on two charges of failing to provide and maintain a safe workplace, and failing to properly train and supervise employees. In addition, the company’s director was issued an individual fine of $30,000 and convicted of the same charges.
Three employees were also convicted and fined over the ‘vicious’ workplace bullying of a teenage waitress, who took her life in 2006.
This has been labelled a turning point for the prosecution of workplace bullying offences. The magistrate said that the café had ‘tacitly approved’ of the ‘persistent and vicious’ bullying of the waitress.
As an employer, it is imperative that you have a set of policies that ensure your workplace is a safe place for your employees. However, having the policies is not enough! The onus is on you, the employer, to implement the policies, and hold staff members accountable for any kind of behaviour that compromises the workplace, either occupational health and safety issues, or harassment and bullying behaviour.
Compliance with these laws protects your employees, and as you can see from this story, it also protects you as a business owner.
MACANTA can assist you with your compliance issues – writing policies, training staff and implementing policies, through our People & Culture services.