Where workplace bullying sits in Australia’s IR review

Cover of workplace-relations-volume1Australia’s Productivity Commission (PC) has released its final report into the Workplace Relations Framework.  Almost all media discussion has been about potential changes to penalty rates but, as mentioned in an earlier blog post, workplace bullying is part of the inquiry’s terms of reference, submissions were sought on this and the final report identifies one view on the current state of play.

The Australian newspaper has summarised the report as rubbish while The Age has described it as a “fair assessment“.  These polarised interpretations say more about mainstream media ideologies than they do about the report, but they reflect the dichotomy between unions and business and the Left and the Right, and need to be remembered when reading their articles about occupational health and safety (OHS).

Volume 2 of the PC’s report includes a chapter (19) specifically addressing workplace bullying but the issue crops up throughout  Volume 1 to illustrate the Fair Work Commission’s operations, where bullying fits in the workplace relations framework and even as bullying relates to breastfeeding.

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