Workplace guides in place for start of Australian anti-bullying laws in 2014 — replacing proposed Code of Practice

By Andrew Ball and Donna Trembath

After two years, two drafts and two rounds of public consultation, Safe Work Australia has determined to release its draft Code of Practice on Preventing and Responding to Workplace Bullying in the form of a guide.

While the bullying guide will not have the same legal force as a code of practice, it will set a national benchmark for managing workplace bullying that is likely to have a strong impact not only on work health and safety law but on applications to the Fair Work Commission under the new anti-bullying laws that apply from 1 January 2014.

Safe Work Australia will also issue a separate ‘Workers Guide’ to workplace bullying. The Workers Guide can be expected to have a strong influence on employee expectations around how organisations should respond to bullying complaints…

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