Employees are your greatest asset; however employee misconduct can be your greatest liability

Inappropriate workplace behaviour, and in particular bullying, is a growing concern in the workplace. The problem is so great that Safe Work Australia has drafted the model “Code of Practice: Preventing and responding to workplace bullying” for consultation and with a view to having a uniform code Australia wide.

Inappropriate behaviour such as bullying and harassment can cause humiliation and harm to individuals.  This can create wider employee morale problems and lead to lower productivity.

Failure to detect employee misconduct can damage more than just the bottom line.  It can lead to costly litigation and negatively affect individuals as well as company and brand reputations. It is critical that organisations minimise the risk of employee misconduct by providing an effective and viable means of reporting in all cases.

Both management and workers may be legally responsible for workplace bullying, discrimination and harassment.Employers must implement measures to minimise the risk of employee misconduct.

Workplace bullying also falls within the jurisdiction of the OHS legislation. Bullying  can have an adverse impact on the health and safety and psychological wellbeing of an employee.

The Courts have determined that “reasonable” steps or precautions to prevent bullying, discrimination and harassment in the workplace must be taken. Merely having a policy stating that employee misconduct won´t be tolerated is insufficient. The policy framework needs to be supported by a feedback program.

Good corporate governance requires that you establish a sound corporate governance structure  supported by policies and procedures, systems and training.

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