Workplace Bullying – “VWA’s Respect at Work” campaign needs to make up lost ground

The Victorian Trades Hall Council has welcomed this week’s prosecution for bullying and said the establishment of WorkSafe’s “Respect at Work” campaign needs to hit the ground running.

“For many years in many WorkSafe forums unions have been raising concerns about the inadequacy of WorkSafe’s response to workplace bullying.  We are pleased that this campaign is up and running but workers in Victoria deserve a stronger response from WorkSafe on this issue.

For some workers bullying is a life and death issue for others bullying is an all too common occurrence” said Brian Boyd, Secretary, Victorian Trades Hall Council today.
“The prosecution of the bullies, and the employer who allowed it to happen, is welcome.  We extend our heartfelt condolences to families affected.  Sadly, there are many more workers who continue to suffer bullying in the workplace and their stories also need to be told,” Brian Boyd said.

Mr Boyd also says that federal moves to uniform health and safety laws around Australia if allowed to happen will result in reduced Victorian OHS standard. 

“Currently, this proposed national regime will not deliver a strong Prevention of Bullying law. The Victorian government knows Victorian workers need a stronger law, and need the present Guidance regime strengthened. 

“It needs to live up to its commitment that no worker will be worse off because of these uniform health and safety laws being proposed.”

“The Victorian government needs to improve standards – not allow the so called national harmonisation process water them down.”

Unions first raised bullying as a health and safety issue in a national campaign back in 2000.

“The workplace is no place for bullying”. 

Victoria introduced a Prevention of Bullying Guidance Note in 2003.  Model laws and regulations are expected to come into affect 1 December 2012.  “Workplace Bullying however is not currently on this agenda and we must insist this situation be corrected,” said Mr Boyd.

Tuesday 16 February 2010