Comcare has changed considerably over the years, particularly with the influx of private companies and organisations under its jurisdiction. Where previously it’s guidances covered public servants, postal services and the defence forces, it now has member organisations in construction, banking, and transport. It is this broad membership that creates challenges for Comcare.
For instance, the construction industry remains one where many employees cannot complete a sentence without a swear word. The culture is very insular where one must prove one’s self as worthy of entry. In many construction sectors, even if union membership is only tolerated, the union politics of the Left remain, at least in the lower levels of site work.
The current guide, pictured above, will be useful but there seems to be little that is new in the guide compared to other workplace bullying guides and codes that have been released in the last decade.
It may be significant that public sector bullying guides are being released around the same time as the release of draft OHS codes by Safe Work Australia. These draft Codes do not address any workplace activities or hazards that can be described as psychosocial yet it is the psychosocial issues of bullying, fatigue, mental health and stress that are of increasing occupational, social and financial concern.
Comcare’s guide is part of a suite of publications and fact sheets that broaden its application. These include
- a guide for employees
- a bullying checklist for employers
- a bullying risk factor checklist
- a bullying risk management tool