Workplace Harrassment

SCOPE/APPLICATION

This policy applies to all employees of PUSHWORTH.

The PUSHWORTH Group is committed to ensuring that the working environment is free from all forms of harassment, and taking all reasonable steps to provide an effective workplace, where staff is treated with dignity, courtesy and respect.

PUSHWORTH considers workplace harassment unacceptable under any circumstances.

We are committed to supporting team members who believe they are subject to workplace harassment and provide a process that deals with complaints swiftly, confidentially and objectively. PUSHWORTH provides every team member the opportunity to access Personal Development tools and programs in order to understand the balance and order in EVERY situation.

DEFINITION

Workplace harassment can take many forms. It includes behaviour that intimidates, offends, degrades or humiliates a person. It is a pattern of abuse of workers, co-workers or clients and can range from the subtle to the more obvious. “Workplace Bullying” is a serious form of harassment and is defined as a pattern of abuse which may include:

  • Yelling, screaming, abuse, offensive language, insults, inappropriate comments about a person’s appearance, life or lifestyle, slandering an employee or his/her family;
  • Badmouthing and backstabbing;
  • Belittling opinions or constant criticism;
  • Isolating employees from normal work interaction, training and development or career opportunities;
  • Overwork, unnecessary pressure, impossible deadlines and targets;
  • Under work, creating a feeling of uselessness;
  • Undermining work performance, deliberately withholding work-related information or resources, or supplying incorrect information;
  • Unexplained job changes, meaningless tasks, tasks beyond a person’s skills, failure to give credit where due;
  • Tampering with a worker’s personal effects or work equipment;
  • Teasing or regularly being made the brunt of pranks or practical jokes;
  • Displaying written or pictorial material which degrades or offends an employee or group of employees;
  • Unreasonable “administrative sanctions”. Eg. Undue delay in processing applications for training, leave or payment of wages;
  • Poorly managed conflicts of opinion or personality.

Workplace harassment may cause the loss of trained or talented employees, reduce productivity and morale and create legal risks. In particular under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 many forms of harassment are unlawful, including harassment which is based on attributes identified in Section 7 (1) of the Act, including as an example, race; religion; political belief or activity; trade union activity and lawful sexual activity.

The Act also prohibits sexual harassment and allows a complaint to be made against a person who has sexually harassed another.

Under Section 119 sexual harassment happens if a person:

  • Subjects another person to an unsolicited act of physical intimacy; or
  • Makes an unsolicited demand or request (whether directly or by implication) for sexual favors from the other person; or
  • Makes a remark with sexual connotations relating to the other person; or
  • Engages in any other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in relation to the other person;
  • And the person engaging in the conduct described in paragraphs (a), (b), (c) or (d) does so –
  • With the intention of offending, humiliating or intimidating the other person; or
  • In circumstances where a reasonable person would have anticipated the possibility that the other person would be offended, humiliated or intimidated by the conduct.

The unwelcome behaviour need not be repeated or continuous. A single incident can amount to sexual harassment.

It should also be noted that workplace harassment of any kind is a breach of the PUSHWORTH Code of Conduct and, as such, may be subject to disciplinary action.

SOURCE DOCUMENTATION

  • Anti Discrimination Act, 1991;
  • Code of Conduct;
  • Workplace Bullying – Workplace Health & Safety

KEY PRINCIPLES

  • All employees are responsible for conducting themselves with professionalism and integrity in the workplace.
  • Managers have the authority and responsibility to demonstrate their commitment to equity principles by taking all reasonable steps to ensure a harassment free workplace By adhering to better work practice, systems, policy and procedures including timely and appropriate resolution of workplace harassment issues.
  • Managers provide support and advice to employees who are subjected to harassment.
  • Harassment is not limited to harassment of women by men.
  • Confidential counseling is available to all staff.

 Examples of sexual harassment include:

  • Physical contact, such as patting, pinching or touching in a sexual way;
  • Unnecessary familiarity such as deliberately brushing against a person;
  • Sexual propositions
  • Unwelcome and uncalled for remarks or insinuations about a person’s appearance or body;
  • Offensive telephone calls;
  • Indecent exposure;
  • Stalking;
  • Offensive e-mail messages/images or computer screen savers.

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