ASHM believes that all people should work in an environment free from bullying.
ASHM understands that workplace bullying is a threat to the health and wellbeing of its staff, volunteers, advisors, interns, consultants and Board members.
Accordingly, ASHM is committed to eliminating, so far as is reasonably practicable, all forms of workplace bullying by maintaining a culture of openness, support, and accountability.
This policy applies to all ASHM’s employees volunteers, advisors, interns, consultants and Board members unless otherwise specified.
The purpose of this document is to communicate that ASHM does not tolerate any form of workplace bullying and to set out the process which is to be followed should any instances of workplace bullying be reported.
Employee is defined as staff, volunteers, advisors, interns, consultants and Board Members.
This policy also relates to, but is not limited to the following types of communication:
- Electronic – such as email, skype, social media and text messages
“Bullying” is repeated and unreasonable behaviour directed towards a person or group of persons that creates a risk to health and safety. It includes behaviour that could be expected to intimidate, offend, degrade, humiliate, undermine or threaten.
“Repeated behaviour” refers to the persistent nature of the behaviour and can involve a range of behaviours over time.
“Unreasonable behaviour” is behaviour that a reasonable person, having considered the circumstances would see as unreasonable, including behaviour that is victimising, humiliating, intimidating or threatening.
Examples of behaviour, whether intentional or unintentional, that may be considered to be workplace bullying if they are repeated, unreasonable and create a risk to health and safety include but are not limited to:
- abusive, insulting or offensive language or comments
- unjustified criticism or complaints
- deliberately excluding someone from workplace activities
- withholding information that is vital for effective work performance
- setting unreasonable timelines or constantly changing deadlines
- setting tasks that are unreasonably below or beyond a person’s skill level
- denying access to information, supervision, consultation or resources to the detriment of the worker
- spreading misinformation or malicious rumours
- changing work arrangements such as rosters and leave to deliberately inconvenience a particular worker, or workers.
Workplace bullying can occur between workers (sideways), from managers to staff (downwards), or staff to supervisors/managers (upwards).
Reasonable management action is not considered to be workplace bullying if it is carried out lawfully and in a reasonable manner in the circumstances. Examples of reasonable management action include but are not limited to:
- setting reasonable performance goals, standards and deadlines
- deciding not to select a staff member for promotion where a reasonable process is followed
- informing a staff member about unsatisfactory work performance in an honest, fair and constructive way
- taking disciplinary action, including suspension or terminating employment.
Differences of opinion and disagreements are generally not considered to be workplace bullying.
Bullying that directly inflicts physical pain, harm, or humiliation amounts to assault and should be dealt with as a police matter (see below).
ASHM does not tolerate any form of workplace bullying.
This policy is not limited to the workplace or working hours and covers all work-related events which includes, but is not limited to – lunches, meetings, conferences, as well as Christmas parties. ASHM has a duty of care to provide a safe workplace, and ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that staff and other people are not exposed to health and safety risks.
ASHM accepts and acts on its duty of care. Any reported allegations of workplace bullying will be promptly, thoroughly, and fairly investigated.
Bullying complaints will be handled in a confidential and procedurally fair manner. Where confidentiality cannot be guaranteed this will be clearly communicated to the relevant parties.
All parties will be treated with respect.
The person against whom the allegation is made has the right to natural justice (the right to know what is alleged against them, the right to put their case in reply, and the right for any decision to be made by an impartial decision-maker).
ASHM Board – Approved 16 June 2020