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eWISE June 2018                                     
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eWise - June 2018

What's New

A National inquiry into sexual harassment in the Australian workplace has been announced. This inquiry will be undertaken by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) and involve an in-depth examination of sexual harassment in the workplace, nation-wide consultation and extensive research. More than 20% of people over 15 years old have been sexually harassed, with 68% of cases occurring at work. 

This new inquiry comes as the AHRC concludes it's fourth national survey into workplace sexual harassment, with the results due to be released in August 2018. 

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Fair Work Ombudsman audit of 125 business across Adelaide has found around 45% to be non-complaint with workplace laws. The audits have resulted in $54,701 recovered in wages and entitlements for 113 workers. As a result, the Fair Work Ombudsman, has urged businesses to ensure they are up-to-date on their obligations and avail themselves of the wide range of free resources from the Ombudsman to ensure they are complying with workplace laws.

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With recent law changes setting clear expectations that franchisors need to consider how to prevent exploitation of workers, the Fair Work Ombudsman has launched a new resource providing practical advice, and useful strategies to assist franchisors to promote sustained workplace compliance. Employers can also sign up via the Ombudsman website to remain informed. 

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The Fair Work Commission has prepared and released a 'General Protections Benchbook'. This is to assist parties lodging or responding to general protections under the Fair Work Act 2009. It includes summaries of the key principles of general protections case law, and examples of how these have been applied in Commission decisions. 

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In a recent case, the Fair Work Commission has ordered Linfox Armaguard Pty Ltd to pay compensation of $8592 to a guard, after 'Armaguard' failed to conduct an investigation in a procedurally fair manner. Flaws included not informing the employee what claims were being investigated prior to conducting a recorded interview, and the employer deciding who would act as the guard's support person. 

Commissioner Cambridge found that while Armaguard was justified in dismissing the guard for serious misconduct, the 'significant and important' procedural shortcomings made the termination unfair. The Commissioner also stated that the size of the employer meant that the operation should have provided for a much higher standard of procedure to be followed. 

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Western Australia has now signed up to the national redress scheme for Child Sexual Abuse survivors, meaning all states are now 'on board'. This scheme will now be put to cabinet. The redress scheme and how it should operated formed a significant part of the recommendations handed down by the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse in December. With the Catholic, Anglican, and Uniting Churches, in addition to all States and Territories reaching agreements, most eligible survivors will be covered and this is set to start on 1 July 2018. 

If your organisation deals with reportable conduct matters, our Investigating Abuse in Care Course is being held in Sydney 24-27 July. This course focuses on how to respond to reports of abuse, and safeguarding vulnerable clients (children, elderly and disabled).  

Additional training dates/information are below

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If you are interested in reading our blogs regularly (the four most recent are below) they are released weekly on our FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn social media pages - simple search for WISE Workplace on your chosen social media platform. 


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Counter Allegations - Who Did What When?

By Vince Scopelliti

Experienced workplace investigators are well aware that when two or more people are in dispute, there will inevitably be differing perspectives on what 'the truth' might look like. Contentious workplace issues can often play out in a 'he said, she said' fashion, with one allegation being closely followed up by a second person's counter-allegation. Such complications should be dealt with in a fair, considered and methodical way.

Read the full article
 

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Managing Complaints - How To Find the Positive

By Vince Scopelliti

When an employee complaint alleging workplace discrimination or harassment is lodged, it is usually seen as a negative moment in the life of the organisation. 

However, it is possible for an employer to view this as a positive phenomenon, rather than a sign of complete failure. This is because well-handled complaints can illuminate hidden corporate weaknesses, as well as any lurking issues affecting staff morale or motivation.

Read the full article

 
   
 
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How to Deal with Bullying in Hospital Environments

By Vince Scopelliti

Hospitals - very few people like them, yet many of us will be a resident at one time or another...

The people who work in them - the doctors, surgeons, nurses, aides, assistants, administrators and catering staff - perform difficult work in extremely stressful environment. Imagine potential consequences when the added stressor of workplace bullying is added to the mix.  

Read the full article

 
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When Workplace Relationships Go Wrong

By Vince Scopelliti

Given how much time employees spend at work every week, it is hardly surprising that romantic relationships develop in the workplace. 

But what happens when a romance is inappropriate, or attraction crosses the line into sexual harassment? 

Read the full article

 
 
     
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What's On

 
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Conducting Workplace Investigations - Advanced

Location: Brisbane
Date: 11-13 September 2018

Location: Sydney
Date: 24-22 October 2018

Location: Melbourne
Date: 14-16 November 2018

For more information on Conducting Workplace Investigations

Investigating Abuse In Care

Location: Sydney
Date: 24-27 July 2018

Location: Melbourne
Date: 14-17 August 2018

For more information on Investigating Abuse In Care

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Visit wiseworkplace.com.au

 
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