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Bullying & HarassmentMay 8, 2015
SA Union is lobbying to make workplace bullying a crime in every state and territory within Australia. The goal is to encourage Brodie’s Law to be recognised nationwide. In 2011, Brodie’s Law was introduced in Victoria, after the 19-year-old took her own life as a result of workplace bullying.
Brodie Panlock worked as a waitress at Café Vamp, in Hawthorn, where she was relentlessly bullied. Her work colleagues would ‘grab her, hold her down and put oil over her so she could not get away’. They did this on numerous occasions. It was known that she put up with this behaviour because she was ‘looking for approval and acceptance’ from her colleague who she had relations with.
Along with putting fish oil in her bag, they covered her with chocolate sauce, telling her that she was worthless and didn’t deserve to be there. Soon after, Brodie jumped from the top level of a multi-storied car park in Hawthorn and died three days later in The Alfred hospital.
SA Unions secretary, Joe Szakas, stood with Brodie’s parents this week and praised the national crack down on domestic violence at the Council of Australian Government meeting. Szakas pushed for a similar strategy to be applied to workplace bullying.
Szakas said, “we need to ensure that bullying and harassment and these types of repulsive behaviours, are treated with the same level of severity as other crimes [furthermore] it needs to become a federal priority”.
In 2013 alone there were over 180 cases of workplace bullying in Victoria. If found guilty of Brodie’s law there is a 10 year jail sentence. Victorian Police can officially say that bullying is against the law.
Employers need to ensure that they have the correct policies to protect themselves against claims of workplace bullying and harassment. These policies need to be clear to all employees and written in employment handbooks. Employees should understand the ramifications should they bully or harass others whilst at work.
If you would like to implement a bullying and harassment policy, call Employsure today on 1300 651 415 or fill in the form below.
Sourced: ABC News.