New Zealand Issues First Guidelines on Workplace Bullying (Bristol, UK) - The first comprehensive guidelines for preventing and responding to workplace bullying have been released in New Zealand by the WorkSafe New Zealand (WorkSafe NZ) and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). The guidelines define workplace bullying and provide guidance for preventing and responding to such bullying. The efforts to address bullying in the workplace taken by WorkSafe NZ are intended to encourage people to take early action against workplace bullying, beproactive in dealing with such situations and promote a healthy work environment, reports Nair & Co. the leading provider of global HR services for companies setting up foreign operations. The guidelines define workplace bullying as “repeated and unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or group of workers that creates a risk to health and safety. “Repeated behaviour” is persistent and can take into consideration a range of actions over time and “Unreasonable behaviour” means actions that a reasonable person in the same situation would see as senseless such as victimising, humiliating, intimidating or threatening another person. Like harassment, bullying can take occur within any workplace relations:
colleague-colleague, and so on.
Bullying may come in different forms:
intentionally excluding individuals,
belittling and condescending behaviour,
intimidating another person, so on.
The following outlines Mandatory Requirements:
Under Health and Safety Regulation, it is necessary for the employers to take all necessary and practical steps the ensure employees’ safety and protect them from unsafe or risky behaviour such as bullying.
Employers may face legal liability – including prosecution (under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992) and grievance claims from affected employee, if they fail to deal with reported bullying issues.
The WorkSafe NZ’s guidelines specifically address the duties required to deal with bullying including proactive steps to prevent and respond to deal with bullying by the health and safety representatives, line managers, human resource managers and other members of management.
Conducting investigations into an allegation of bullying.
Employees are also asked to be mindful of bullying and contribute to the enforcement of policies and reporting of issues:
Under the Regulation of health and safety and human rights, employees can be legally responsible if they try to bullysomeone at the workplace.
The guidelines contain advice, various detailed flow charts and solutions to the issues that employees may commonly face.
The reporting of bullying may fall on the employee and guidelinesto do so have been provided as well as a helpline number.
Companies with operations in New Zealand are advised to take appropriate actions to fulfil the requirements of the new bullying guidelines in order to avoid possible penal consequences. Companies must comply with various obligations such as bullying policy, carrying out serious and fair investigation, taking necessary disciplinary action, publishing relevant notices, etc. For more information about doing business overseas or to learn more about our International Expansion Services team please contact us. Subscribe to regular global tax compliance alerts from Nair & Co.
Get the latest news releases and updates on international tax, HR, Finance, compliance and other legal news at Nair & Co. Industry Alerts. About Nair & Co. Nair & Co., the leader in international business expansion services, provides accounting, HR, legal, tax and compliance services for the set up and management of your international operations. Our model of a single-point-of-contact, supported by internal teams of experienced advisors, helps clients expand business and manage risk so they can focus on their core business and sustain growth with minimal risk, stress and cost. We support nearly 250 clients in over 70 countries. Nair & Co. is headquartered in Bristol, UK, has 450 employees and offices in China, India, Japan, Singapore, and the US. Learn more at www.nair-co.com Media Contacts: For media enquiries or to learn to more about Nair & Co., please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Yvonne Smith at +1.408.501.8867