Equal Opportunity, Discrimination, Bully and Harassment Policy
All employees are required to familiarise themselves with the following policy and ensure that they conduct themselves in compliance with its terms. The reasoning for this is two-fold: * Kiama Glass wishes to ensure that all persons have an opportunity to fully participate in Kiama Glass’ workforce, including by giving prospective and current employees the opportunity to make choices regarding their careers and by making fair and reasonable decisions based on merit; and * by acting contrary to the principles set out in this policy and anti-discrimination legislation, both Kiama Glass and individual employees can be liable for acts of discrimination and harassment against prospective and fellow employees, and clients.
Kiama Glass is an equal opportunity employer. The underlying principle of equal opportunity is the notion of merit. It is on this basis that Kiama Glass undertakes to make appointments and promotions. This means that Kiama Glass aims to ensure that prospective and current employees are not subject to detrimental treatment on the basis of irrelevant attributes or characteristics.
Kiama Glass is also committed to fostering a work environment which is free from sexual harassment and workplace harassment.
The prevention of discrimination and harassment is important because, as well as the obvious risk of litigation: * work performance can suffer as a result of these behaviours creating an intimidating and hostile work environment; * the detrimental effects on work output are seldom limited to one person and are often spread across all emlployees; * service delivery to clients may subsequently be negatively affected; * the health of people subjected to discriminatory behaviours, harassment and sexual harassment may suffer, resulting in increased sick leave or compensation claims as well as personal duress to the individuals concerned; and * such behaviours may result in employees resigning. This incurs a loss of the investment made in those people and it may lead to increased recruitment and retraining costs.
Kiama Glass requires its employees to comply with the terms of this policy in order for Kiama Glass to achieve its goal that: (a) employees treat each other with respect and trust; (b) employees are able to work in an environment free from discrimination and harassment; (c) Kiama Glass is protected against vicarious liability for the actions of its employees; and (d) Kiama Glass’s policy of equal employment opportunity is practised as well as preached.
Various pieces of anti-discrimination legislation exist at both the federal and state levels to prohibit discrimination and harassment in the pre-work and work areas.
Such legislation also applies to the provisions of goods and services. To this extent, this policy applies equally to Kiama Glass and its employees’ dealings with clients. In other words, both Kiama Glass and individual employees can be liable for acts of discrimination against clients that Kiama Glass and its employees may deal with in the course of employment.
Generally speaking, discrimination occurs when a person with an ‘attribute’ is treated less favourably than another person without the attribute is or would be treated in the same or similar circumstances. Federal and State anti-discrimination legislation prohibits discrimination against someone (either directly or indirectly) on the basis of certain attributes, summarised in the following table.
WHAT IS DISCRIMINATION
Direct discrimination occurs when someone with one of the above attributes is treated less favourably than another person without the attribute would be treated in the same or similar circumstances. For example:
Two employees perform the same job and have similar qualifications and experience. One is a male with no family responsibilities. The other is a female with family responsibilities. A development opportunity arises and is given to the male on the basis that, as a male with no family responsibilities, he is presumed to be more reliable and will be able to work longer hours.
Other examples of treating someone less favourably on the basis of an attribute they possess or by an act involving a distinction, exclusion or preference, include: * judging someone on their political or religious beliefs rather than their work performance; * using stereotypes or assumptions to guide decision-making about a person’s career; * undermining a person’s authority because of their race, gender or sexual preference; * making offensive jokes or comments about another worker’s racial or ethnic background, gender, sexual preference, age, disability or physical appearance; or * denying further training to employees on the basis of impairment.
Indirect discrimination occurs when a requirement is imposed:
* with which a person with the attribute does not or is not able to comply;
* with which a higher proportion of people without the attribute comply or are able to comply; and
* that is not reasonable.
It may initially appear that the requirement is fair because the same rules are applied to everyone, but a closer look at the effect of the requirement being imposed will show that some people are disproportionately affected by the requirement.
An employer requires all employees to wear a uniform that includes a cap. This is not a requirement for any safety or hygiene reason, but is done for appearance only. Whilst the requirement appears not to be discriminatory, because everyone must comply, the requirement may be indirectly discriminatory against persons who are required by religious or cultural beliefs to wear particular headdresses.
If an employee believes that they have been treated less favourably because of a personal attribute which is not a requirement of their position, the employee should raise their concerns in accordance with the complaints mechanisms set out in this policy.
Do not ignore discrimination thinking that it will just go away.
Federal and State legislation make sexual harassment unlawful.
Sexual harassment is essentially unwelcome sexual attention or unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It encompasses situations where a person is subjected to unsolicited and unwelcome sexual conduct by another person.
It may take the form of unwelcome touching or physical contact, remarks with sexual connotations, requests for sexual favours, leering or display of offensive material.
Sexual harassment will not be tolerated by Kiama Glass under any circumstances.
More specifically, sexual harassment occurs when a person: (a) subjects another to an unsolicited act of physical intimacy (e.g., patting, pinching or touching in a sexual way or unnecessary familiarity such as deliberately brushing against a person); (b) makes an unsolicited demand or request (whether directly or by implication) for sexual favours from the other person (e.g., sexual propositions); (c) makes a remark with sexual connotations relating to the other person (e.g., unwelcome and uncalled for remarks or insinuations about a person’s sex or private life or suggestive comments about a person’s appearance or body); or (d) engages in any other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in relation to the other person (e.g. offensive telephone calls or indecent exposure),
and the person engaging in the conduct does so: (a) with the intention of offending, humiliating or intimidating the other person; or (b) in circumstances where a reasonable person would have anticipated the possibility that the other person would be offended, humiliated or intimidated by the conduct.
Examples of conduct which could amount to sexual harassment include:
kissing, attempts at sexual intercourse or overt sexual conduct;sexually explicit conversations or references to sexual activity;gender based insults, teasing or taunting;intrusive questions of a sexual nature;proposals of marriage or declarations of love; orinnuendos and crude jokes.
Sexual harassment is not behaviour which is based on mutual attraction, friendship or respect. If the interaction is consensual, welcome and reciprocated, it is not sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment does not need to be repeated. A single act of sexual harassment is sufficient to give rise to a complaint.
If you are unsure whether particular conduct or actions would amount to sexual harassment, it is best to refrain from such conduct or actions.
WORKPLACE HARASSMENT AND BULLYING
Employers have obligations to ensure the health and safety of employees under relevant work health and safety legislation.
Workplace harassment (also known as bullying) has the potential to harm the health and safety of employees. Consequently, Kiama Glass is serious about minimising the risk of bullying occurring in the workplace.
All employees are expected to abide by state and federal legislation, codes, regulations, rules and standards of the workplace relating to harassment.
Generally, a person is subjected to workplace harassment or bullying if they are subjected to repeated behaviour (other than behaviour amounting to sexual harassment) by a person, including the person’s employer or a co-worker or a group of co-workers of the person that:
is unwelcome and unsolicited;
the person considers to be offensive, humiliating or threatening; and
a reasonable person would consider to be offensive, humiliating, intimidating or threatening.
Some examples of behaviour which, if they occur repeatedly, may amount to workplace harassment include:
abusing a person loudly, usually when others are present;
repeated threats of dismissal or other severe punishment for no reason;
constant ridicule and being put down;
leaving offensive messages on email or the telephone;
sabotaging a person’s work, for example, by deliberately withholding or supplying incorrect information, hiding documents or equipment, not passing on messages and getting a person into trouble in other ways;
maliciously excluding and isolating a person from workplace activities;
persistent and unjustified criticisms, often about petty, irrelevant or insignificant matters;
humiliating a person through gestures, sarcasm, criticism and insults, often in front of other people;
racial sledging; and
spreading gossip or false, malicious rumours about a person with an intent to cause the person harm.
Some bullying could also be the subject of criminal prosecution.Workplace harassment does not include:
reasonable management action taken in a reasonable way by a person’s employer in connection with the person’s employment, for example, conducting disciplinary action or managing unsatisfactory performance; ora single incident of harassing type behaviour. Whilst a single incident will not amount to workplace harassment, it may still be unacceptable and may result in disciplinary action.
CONSEQUENCES OF BREACHING THIS POLICY
If an employee engages in unlawfully discriminatory or harassing behaviour, a court or tribunal can hold that person personally liable for their behaviour and they may be liable to pay damages to a complainant. Kiama Glass, as an employer, is also at risk of being held vicariously responsible for the employee’s conduct.
If you are not the direct perpetrator of the behaviour, you can still be held liable for causing, instructing, inducing, aiding or permitting another person to engage in the behaviour.
If an employee engages in discrimination, sexual harassment or workplace harassment there will also be serious consequences for their ongoing employment. Kiama Glass will not tolerate behaviour of this kind. If it occurs, it may result in disciplinary action against the relevant employee or employees. Such action will depend upon the circumstances but may involve a warning, counselling or dismissal.
What can I do if I believe I have been harassed, bullied or discriminated against?
Allegations of discrimination or harassment will be treated seriously and investigated promptly, confidentially and impartially by Kiama Glass. A written complaint is not required.
If you believe that you have been the subject of unlawful discrimination, bullying, sexual harassment or workplace harassment, Kiama Glass encourages you to report it directly to Kelly Seuren. The situation is unlikely to improve if you do nothing about it. By not objecting to the conduct, the person responsible may continue the harassment or behaviour, not knowing how it makes you feel. Kiama Glass will use its best endeavours to ensure that no parties to a complaint are victimised.
You may at any time lodge a complaint with one of the organisations set out below. While Kiama Glass encourages employees to use the in-house complaints procedure before taking this action, an employee may do this at any time.
The organisations set out below are statutory bodies and, if your complaint is accepted, they will notify the alleged perpetrators of the discrimination or harassment. You and the alleged perpetrators will usually be required to attend a conciliation conference conducted by the organisation to attempt to resolve the complaint. If the complaint is not resolved, it may be dealt with through more formal legal processes.
Australian Human Rights Commission Level 3, 175 Pitt Street, SYDNEY NSW 2000 GPO Box 5218 SYDNEY NSW 2001 Telephone: (02) 9284 9600
Complaints Infoline: 1300 656 419 Email: email@example.comInternet: http://www.hreoc.gov.au
Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW Sydney Stockland House Level 4, 175-183 Castlereagh Street, Sydney Telephone: (02) 9268 5555
84 Crown Street, Wollongong NSW
Telephone: (02) 4224 9960
Newcastle Suite 3, Level 3, 97 Scott Street, Newcastle Telephone: (02) 4926 4300
Toll free: 1800 670 812 (for rural and regional New South Wales only)
Fair Work Commission
Terrace Tower 80 William St
East Sydney, 2011
Telephone: (02) 8374 6666
Email: sydney@fwc .gov.au
Wollongong Level 6, 90 Crown Street, Wollongong 2500 PO Box 5169 Wollongong 2520