King & Wood Mallesons

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New Fair Work bullying jurisdiction set for kick-off

By Philip Willox, Daisy Rowe and Debra Lee

In slightly more than a month, the Fair Work Commission will be able to deal with bullying complaints. As the commencement of this new jurisdiction draws to a close, the role of the commission and the likely processes and outcomes has become clearer. Employers should ensure that they are ready for kick-off.

From 1 January 2014, a person who reasonably believes they have been bullied at work will be able to apply directly to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) for orders to deal with the bullying.

Prior to the recent federal election, the coalition indicated that it would consider introducing a cooling-off period or pre-assessment process before bullying claims could get to the FWC. It has now been made clear that the new bullying jurisdiction in the FWC will commence unchanged on 1 January 2014. The coalition government has indicated support for the new regime and will effectively see how it goes…

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