Legal Issues

Sexual/racial harassment and discrimination are unlawful under both the Employment Relations Act and the Human Rights Act. Currently there is no legislation outlawing workplace bullying although it constitutes a hazard under the Health and Safety in Employment Act because it is behaviour that has the potential to cause stress and mental harm.

People who are mistreated at work may seek redress by taking a personal grievance, by making a complaint to the Human Rights Commission or raising a hazard notice under Department of Labour. However these avenues may not be the most useful from of addressing bullying behaviour. They are difficult for complainants, costly and time consuming. Most complainants would sooner leave and try to get on with their lives.

We believe it is more appropriate for employers to address these issues internally and to have a strong prevention programme in place. This may serve to protect employers from litigation but also reduces the likelihood of these behaviours in the first place through a positive and constructive workplace culture that makes it difficult for bullying or harassment to be tolerated.

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Oh No You Don't Book
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