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Workplace Bullying Parliamentary Inquiry

A parliamentary report released today is the first step in promoting a national conversation about workplace bullying.

 Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Bill Shorten welcomed the release of the Standing Committee on Education and Employment’s report into workplace bullying and thanked the Chair, Ms Amanda Rishworth MP, and the committee members for their commitment to the inquiry and in developing the recommendations in the report.

 “Bullying and harassment have no place in any Australian workplace. This Government believes that every worker should be treated fairly with respect and dignity at work, and should arrive home safely each day,” Mr Shorten said.

 “I’d also like to pay tribute to Damien and Rae Panlock, parents of Brodie Panlock. Brodie was subjected to relentless bullying at her workplace.  No worker, young or old, and no parent should have to go through an experience like this. Bullying and harassment have no place in any Australian workplace.”

 “An inquiry of this nature is important because workplace bullying cuts across all industries and all jurisdictions.

 “We will consider the recommendations in detail. We welcome the recommendation to adopt a definition of what constitutes bullying.

 “Prevention and education are as important as remedies for victims of workplace bullying, and changing attitudes about appropriate and inappropriate behaviour at work is at the heart of this issue.

 “Current methods of addressing workplace bullying can be largely reactive, occurring after workplace relationships are beyond repair. Workplace bullying needs to be resolved proactively before it escalates and requires intervention and prosecution.”

 The inquiry received 319 submissions.

 “We look forward to working with jurisdictions, employer and employee organisations and workers across the broader community to create safe, productive and bully-free workplaces in Australia,” Mr Shorten said.

 The report is available at: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House_of_Representatives_Committees?url=ee/bullying/report.htm

 The Government announced the inquiry on 26 May 2012 to address community and public concerns about bullying in the workplace and to stamp out bullying in our workplaces.

 Mr Shorten’s Media Contact: Sam Casey — 0421 697 660