Throw The Book @ You
Don’t worry, we here at Pink Collar Workers do not condone violence, of any kind. You’re here because you’ve already experienced some kind of workplace transgression and don’t need another to add to your list of ailments.
What we’re talking about is called a Benchbook. It is a single document used by Commissioners* to guide their decision making with legal matters in the Fair Work Commission.
* The Commissioner is similar to a Criminal Law judge or magistrate. The state system (Industrial Relations Commission) and federal system (Fair Work Commission) both have the same role, the Commissioner.^
^ Yes, we have heard it before. No, there is no one called Commissioner Gordon, that we know of and this is not a new, up and coming series of Batman. But, using these tools makes you your very own Robin and, when it comes to sidekicks, you can’t get any cooler than that! The tools on the next page will help.
The Benchbooks on the Fair Work Commission website are updated when there are changes to the Fair Work Act or case law adaptation. We’ve linked the most likely Benchbooks to be used down below, to make it easier to access the content you need.
⚖️ Stop Bullying Order
⚖️ Adverse Action
⚖️ Constructive Dismissal (Forced Resignation)
Well, That’s Good To Know
Under the Anti-Bullying Benchbook is a nifty section called:
Reasonable management action carried out in a reasonable manner.
Law, of all types, loves the reasonable person. It is the application of the concept of a ‘logical’ epperson. In theory, it works but in application, it totally misses the mark. Bullies cannot ever be deemed as ‘reasonable’ and their behaviour is unreasonable, even illegal. It is the severity that warrants consideration, not a separation between acceptable and unacceptable worplace actions
Your situation is anything but reasonable. More likely, the people you are up against are acting in an unreasonable manner.
If you know what argument an employer could run, you are better prepared to defend yourself. Not all employers want to take action and many stick their head in the sand.
But, bullying is bad. Why would they ignore me? An employer can pretend the bullying is not happening for many reasons and most, if mor all, drop down to one thing:
1️⃣ You report.
2️⃣ They act and investigate.
3️⃣ Establish truth and do not act.
The employer could be found to be negligent in the future.
1️⃣ You you report.
2️⃣ They act and investigate.
3️⃣ Establish truth and then do act.
The employer has to investigate. Common terms include:
Fact finding meeting
Management + Human Resources
Time + money
Failure to do this in the right way can result in counter claims and the employer could be found to be negligent, in the future. Eventually, a person damaged enough could lodge a claim for Workers Compensation but that’s hard on the employee. For the employer, it ultimately will increase their insurance premiums but, by then, the focus is on you and your psychological injury. Let them worry about the cost, your priority is your own well-being. The big reason employers seek to squash these claims it they are logged with the state regulatory body, SafeWork or WorkSafe. Enough claims go through, it triggers an investigation from SafeWork, also known as the Regulator, and they assess:
|Application of these|
|The failure to apply these|
Now you understand the potential response from the employer, you improve your defence, increase your chances of being heard and we add a block underneath you, with the goal of:
Bring you up to bring your bully down.PINK COLLAR WORKERS
When you can see the other side of the story – the argument your employer might run – you can prepare your responses. It is called being smart. It applies to anti-bullying law. This concept and the Employer Response argument can be applied to other areas of the employment context.
Check out the specific section on the Fair Work Commission website here.