ASC Workplace Harassment and Bullying Policy by U1188KY



ASC Workplace Harassment and
Bullying Policy
The ASC is committed to providing a work environment in which all employees are
treated with respect, fairness and dignity.

ASC Code of Conduct
The Values and Standards set out in the ASC Code of Conduct include, among other
things, obligations to:

  “value the well-being and diversity of our employees”
  "treat everyone with respect, courtesy and without harassment"
  "not engage in any forms of physical, verbal or emotional abuse of others"

These commitments and obligations represent exemplary practice and attitude in any
work or social context and they are central to our 'duty of care' obligations under
health and safety legislation.

In all respects, harassment and bullying are unacceptable in any work related

What is harassment?
Harassment is behaviour that is inconsistent with required standards of behaviour
and is unwelcome, unsolicited and usually unreciprocated. Workplace harassment
can be exhibited in a wide range of circumstances and environments.

It is unlawful in any work-related context, including conferences, work functions,
office Christmas parties and business or field trips.

It is offensive, belittling, bullying or threatening behaviour that can:

  occur in the context of a single incident or form part of repeated incidents or as a
   pattern of behaviours;
  can be verbal, visual, or physical behaviour;
  be directed at an individual or group of workers
  can often be focused on the sexual, cultural or racial background or disability of
   an individual or a group
  include the inappropriate exercise of power, authority and influence in the
   conduct of work activities
The following are examples of harassment:
  Physical contact or requests for sexual favours
  Physical threats or acts
  Persistent following (stalking)
  Suggestive looks implying a sexual interest
  Persistently disrupting an individual’s work, work space, equipment or interfering
   with their personal property
  Jokes, derogatory or dismissive comments
  Languages or gestures that are insulting, belittling or threatening
  Circulating, displaying written or pictorial material that is offensive or belittling
  Preventing access to workplace facilities
  Emailing or otherwise transmitting material or viewing offensive material via the
   internet - additional information on this is provided under the ASC 'ICT Security
   and Conditions of Use' policy.

At its worst, sexual harassment can involve indecent exposure, obscene telephone
calls and sexual assault.

If you are in any doubt about whether another person's conduct amounts to
harassment or bullying you can discuss the matter with an ASC Harassment Contact

Improper use of ASC Resources
The ICT Security and Conditions of Use policy, among other things, prohibits the use
of ICT services and systems to create, download, upload, distribute or transmit
material that is unlawful, pornographic or otherwise unacceptable.

What is Bullying?
Bullying is a form of harassment. It can be regarded as “repeated, unreasonable
behaviour directed towards a person or group of persons at a workplace, which
creates a risk to health and safety”.

“Repeated” refers to the persistent or ongoing nature of the behaviour, not the
specific type of behaviour which may vary.

     For example, bullying may comprise a combination of behaviours including
      unwarranted criticism or insults, spreading malicious rumours, deliberately
      withholding information or resources and influencing others to exclude or isolate
      the targeted person or persons. In many instances bullying appears to begin as
      discreet and indirect behaviours escalating over time into more open and direct

“Unreasonable behaviour” means behaviour that a reasonable person, having
regard to circumstances, would expect to be victimisation, humiliation, undermining
or threatening. It includes overt and covert types of behaviour such as:

     Abusive, insulting or offensive language
     Excluding, isolating or marginalising others, deliberately or otherwise
     Behaving in a way that frightens or intimidates

ASC Workplace Harassment and Bullying Policy                                 Page 2 of 5
        Humiliating others through sarcasm, belittling someone’s opinions or unjustified
         criticism, including criticism delivered by yelling or screaming
        Teasing or making others the brunt of practical jokes
        Deliberately intruding on a person’s space by pestering, spying or tampering
         with their work equipment or personal effects
        Spreading misinformation or malicious rumours
        Participating in “collective bullying” or “mobbing” which is characterised by
         passive aggressive group behaviour used as a deliberate strategy to drive an
         individual from the workplace
        Setting impossible assignments or deadlines
        Assigning meaningless tasks or unfairly assigning unpleasant tasks
        Treating someone unfairly in relation to work rosters or workplace entitlements
         such as leave or training
        Deliberately withholding information or resources necessary for effective work
        Carrying out initiation pranks
        Displaying offensive material

A single incident of workplace harassment does not constitute workplace bullying,
although it may be distressing or harmful to the targeted individual and should not be
tolerated. A single incident of harassment may be a warning sign for bullying and steps
should be taken to prevent a reoccurrence.

However, workplace harassment, whether a single incident or repeated occurrences
may breach the ASC Code of Conduct, anti-discrimination legislation or the
Workplace Relations Act 1996. Some types of harassment, such as those involving
physical or indecent assault, amount to a criminal offence.

Legitimate management action
Workplace harassment should not be confused with advice or counselling on work
performance or work-related behaviour of an individual or group which might include
critical comments indicating performance deficiencies.
     Feedback or counselling on work performance or work-related behaviour differs
      from harassment. These actions are intended to assist employees to improve
      work performance and will be constructive and provide advice and
      recommendations for employees.

Prevention measures
The ASC will:

       Facilitate ongoing awareness and education sessions for employees
       Appoint a number of harassment contact officers and ensure that they are fully
        trained and that they attend regular update sessions
       Implement timely and effective processes to mitigate and/or remedy cases of
        alleged harassment
       Distribute, promote and make this policy accessible to employees

Workplace manager's responsibilities
Workplace managers/supervisors have a particular responsibility to:

ASC Workplace Harassment and Bullying Policy                                  Page 3 of 5
   model, promote and foster the Values and Standards of behaviour set out in the
    ASC Code of Conduct;
   be vigilant in monitoring any signs of harassment in their work area and taking
    appropriate action to prevent or bring an end to such behaviour;
   provide support to staff if they seek advice in dealing with workplace harassment,
    including provision of information about complaint and resolution mechanisms;
   treat all complaints seriously and take immediate action to inquire and resolve
    them or refer complaints to another appropriate ASC employee where it is
    inappropriate for the workplace manager or supervisor to handle the issue

Employee responsibilities
Each ASC employee has a responsibility to:
 model, promote and foster the Values and Standards of behaviour set out in the
   ASC Code of Conduct;
 be vigilant in monitoring any signs of harassment in their work area and assist in
   the prevention of workplace harassment

Resolving cases of harassment and bullying
All employees are strongly encouraged to speak out against harassment should they
witness it. If an employee feels that they have been subjected to harassing
behaviour, they are encouraged to seek a resolution through one of the informal
and/or formal approaches outlined below.

Sexual harassment and physical threats to people or property may also be reported
to the Police for investigation as possible criminal offences.
‘Informal’ means of resolution
‘Informal’ resolution of harassment or discrimination complaints occurs where the
individual concerned wishes to pursue resolution directly, at least in the first instance,
and usually where the allegations are of a less serious nature.
 The individual who has been subject to offending behaviour or actions can seek to
    deal with the situation themselves through informal discussion with the alleged
    harasser. If the harassment was unintentional, an informal discussion with the
    person responsible may solve the problem.
 If the affected employee is uncomfortable about approaching the alleged harasser
    directly, she or he can ask their supervisor to speak to the alleged harasser on
    their behalf, seek the advice and support of an ASC Harassment Contact Officer
    or ASC Human Resources.

Any supervisor or manager observing unacceptable behaviour should take
appropriate action to resolve the situation even if no complaint has been made.

Discussion with an Harassment Contact Officer or Human Resources can assist an
employee in clarifying or confirming that the behaviours they have been subjected to
or that they have witnessed are of a kind that amount to workplace harassment or

An employee is not required to pursue or exhaust informal resolution of a problem
before requesting a formal investigation of the matter.

ASC Workplace Harassment and Bullying Policy                                  Page 4 of 5
          Formal means of resolution
          A formal process for addressing allegations of harassment or bullying in the
          workplace will involve an investigation of the matter as an alleged breach of the ASC
          Code of Conduct.

          Investigations will be undertaken where an informal approach is unsuccessful or is an
          approach that the complainant is not comfortable in attempting and/or the nature of
          the alleged behaviours is serious enough to warrant this.

          If an individual believes that at any stage their concerns are not being handled
          satisfactorily, they have the right to lodge a complaint with the Human Rights

          Any allegation of harassment will be dealt with in a sensitive and discreet manner.
          Employees will be made aware of the seriousness of the harassment allegations and
          that they will be discussed only with people whose job involves dealing with such
          complaints or who have management responsibilities of the employees involved.

          Harassment Contact Officers (HCO)
          The responsibility of a Harassment Contact Officer is to provide the following types of
          assistance and support to an employee in the process of identifying and resolving
          harassment issues, and to do so in an unbiased and objective manner.

             Offering support and listening to the employee’s complaint
             Informing the employee of their options in resolving the matter
             Accompanying a complainant to meet the alleged harasser or appropriate
             Accompanying a complainant to any hearing or inquiries
             With an individual employee’s permission, provide information and advice to the
              supervisor/manager of the concerned employee(s)

          Further information about this policy and its application or about the general subject
          of workplace harassment and bullying, employees can contact Human Resources, a
          Harassment Contact Officer or obtain information and assistance via our Employee
          Assistance Program

          General information and publications
          o   Comcare - Bullying in the workplace - A guide to prevention for managers and
          o     Employee Assistance Program - PPC Worldwide publication: Don't Turn a Blind
                Eye to Bullying
                                                    - END -

Version           Originating Program     Approved by     Date            Revision Date   TRIM reference

Version 1.1       Human Resources         ASC Executive   29 April 2011   30 June 2011    2009/050543/D

          ASC Workplace Harassment and Bullying Policy                                Page 5 of 5

To top