Workplace Bullying - Part 3 

To ensure that the outcome of any investigation is fair it will need to be carried out by independent and unbiased investigators. They will be interviewing all of the parties involved in the complaint and any witnesses that you mention and go over any documents that are relevant to the complaint. This will help them to compile a report on their findings and recommend solutions to the business. The subject of the complaint should also be given a reasonable opportunity to respond to the allegations or concerns.

Image by Markus Winkler

source: Unspalsh

From here the business you work for should organise separate meetings with you and the subject of the complaint to discuss the report and the recommended solutions. A copy of the report should be given to you and they should also inform you of your right to appeal and decision and how this process works.

 

The final decisions and actions should be reported back to you, keeping in mind that the privacy of the subject of the complaint needs to be maintained. The business should inform you of their processes should you be unhappy with the final outcome.

 

Government bodies and Legislation

 

When you are unhappy with a final decision made by the business that you work for you will want to look elsewhere to seek a resolution.

 

Sometimes it is appropriate to approach different Government bodies depending on the seriousness of the complaint and lack of outcome that you are satisfied with.

 

There is also legislation that can support you to find a better outcome depending on the types of bullying that have occurred.

 

Firstly there is the Employment Relations Act 2000 (ERA) which aims to build productive relationships through employment. The ERA outlines the different penalties businesses can face for certain breaches of duties with an employment relationship. Repeated verbal or emotional attacks on an employee may breach the duty of good faith – where parties to an employment relationship are required to be active and constructive in maintaining an employment relationship.

 

If you resign from your work as a result of your employer to provide a safe working environment you may be able to raise a personal grievance for unjustified dismissal or constructive dismissal. If you are still employed with the business you may still be able to claim unjustified disadvantage under the ERA as well as a breach of contract.

 

When it comes to harassment the ERA only provides you protection from sexual and racial harassment, which are also covered by the Human Rights Act 1993 (HRA). This also gives ground for a personal grievance under the ERA or a claim under the HRA.

 

The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) is the primary work health and safety legislation. Worksafe is the primary health and safety regulator in New Zealand although Maritime New Zealand and the Civil Aviation Authority also carry out certain health and safety functions that relate to their own industries.

 

The Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015 (HDCA) is meant to deter, prevent or otherwise mitigate harm (serious emotional stress) caused to individuals by digital communications. Its purpose is to provide a quick, efficient and inexpensive legal avenue for people dealing with serious or repeated harmful digital communications.

 

A digital communication is any form of electronic communication including emails, texts, websites, forums, social media and apps.

 

Examples of harmful communications include using phones to send threatening or offensive messages, publishing threatening or offensive messages online and publishing invasive or distressing photographs or videos.


 

Image by Claudia Wolff

source: Unsplash

From here the business you work for should organise separate meetings with you and the subject of the complaint to discuss the report and the recommended solutions. A copy of the report should be given to you and they should also inform you of your right to appeal and decision and how this process works.

 

The final decisions and actions should be reported back to you, keeping in mind that the privacy of the subject of the complaint needs to be maintained. The business should inform you of their processes should you be unhappy with the final outcome.

 

Government bodies and Legislation

 

When you are unhappy with a final decision made by the business that you work for you will want to look elsewhere to seek a resolution.

 

Sometimes it is appropriate to approach different Government bodies depending on the seriousness of the complaint and lack of outcome that you are satisfied with.

 

There is also legislation that can support you to find a better outcome depending on the types of bullying that have occurred.

 

Firstly there is the Employment Relations Act 2000 (ERA) which aims to build productive relationships through employment. The ERA outlines the different penalties businesses can face for certain breaches of duties with an employment relationship. Repeated verbal or emotional attacks on an employee may breach the duty of good faith – where parties to an employment relationship are required to be active and constructive in maintaining an employment relationship.

 

If you resign from your work as a result of your employer to provide a safe working environment you may be able to raise a personal grievance for unjustified dismissal or constructive dismissal. If you are still employed with the business you may still be able to claim unjustified disadvantage under the ERA as well as a breach of contract.