Bullying and Harassment

Where do you think WorkSafes role lies?

Allegations of  harassment and bullying in the workplace are nothing new but we are now starting to see the fallout of years of a culture of denial.

Below is an excerpt from the WorkSafe site under "Bullying and Harassment" (dated 2 August).

Workplace bullying and harassment (including sexual harassment) is a serious issue for New Zealand. Studies suggest that up to one in three workers report experiencing some form of bullying or harassment each year.

Bullying and harassment allegations or concerns often involve employment relations issues. The Employment Relations Act and the Employment Relations Authority are often the best place for these concerns to be raised and remedied. WorkSafe will always have a role in supporting harm prevention activity, although our investigation and enforcement activity is risk based and targeted at the highest risks and harm. This means we will typically only investigate bullying and harassment claims where there is diagnosis of serious mental harm. This is consistent with the approach we take to all risks and harms notified to WorkSafe.

Through media we have read the Russell McVeagh report commissioned by Dame Margaret Bazley of allegations of sexual harassment and assaults, the bullying complaints of 22 current and former Warehouse staff, a St John ambulance drivers grievance of years of bullying ignored - there are numerous stories of this behaviour and the harmful effects it has on the victim.  So why is it not a work related hazard?


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