Bullying

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Does failure to prevent sexual harassment lead to directors exposing themselves? (UK)

In the normal course, the question of whether there is any interplay between the new duty to take proactive steps to prevent sexual harassment on the one hand and section 172 Companies Act 2006 on the other would be a bit of a downer at your Christmas dinner.  However, if you are a director then … Continue Reading

The trouble with the reluctant complainant (UK)

It has been annual review season here at Squire Patton Boggs.  Looking back over my efforts this year in the usual endeavour to justify my own existence, I have spotted the same scenario cropping up with unusual frequency.  An employee tells their employer that they have experienced something at work that they are not too … Continue Reading

“Getting the most out of the fit note”: new guidance for UK employers

Well, sort of.  Almost nothing has changed in this month’s new government guidance on fit notes over the previous versions.  You can receive a fit note digitally these days and (to reduce doctors’ workloads) a wider range of medical practitioners are now authorised to issue them, but officially that’s about it. That under-sells it, maybe … Continue Reading

New anti-bullying law proposals make grim reading all round for UK workplaces

So here we go again, another attempt to legislate against workplace bullying.  This is not the first – back in 2001 there was a Dignity at Work bill, a fantastically inept piece of drafting crippled alike by internal processes more complicated than the wiring diagram of a battleship and the inevitable (and as it turned … Continue Reading

New GCC rules for employers, Part 1 (UAE)

A number of changes were introduced across the Gulf Cooperation Council states during the course of 2022 (several of which have now been implemented, while some are due to take effect later in 2023). In this article, the first of a short series covering those changes, we provide a brief summary of the key employment … Continue Reading

Grievances and punishment – Is it enough to succeed, or must others fail? (UK)

If you look for the statutory source of the ordinary right to bring a workplace grievance, you may be gone some time.  It arose initially as a by-product of the implied duty of trust and confidence, and formally bubbled to the surface in WA Gould (Pearmak) Limited – v – McConnell in 1995.  There the … Continue Reading

“There are only two ways of telling the complete truth – anonymously and posthumously” (UK)

That was according to a US economist, Thomas Sowell, but it also came up at a recent webinar we did on whistle-blowing and grievance investigations.  We were talking about limits on the employer’s ability to use evidence from witnesses whose identities would not be disclosed to the person accused.  The short point was that to … Continue Reading

Sexual harassment reforms fast approaching in response to Respect@Work (Australia)

In the wake of a spate of high profile sexual assault and harassment allegations in recent weeks, the federal government has announced it will implement a suite of anti-harassment reforms in response to the Sex Discrimination Commissioner’s landmark Respect@Work national inquiry report, which was released in March 2020. The Respect@Work inquiry found that Australia’s current … Continue Reading

Changes in Polish employment laws bring new costs:benefits equation

This Autumn brings quite a few changes for Polish employers. Not only do new pension plans called PPK (Pracownicze Plany Kapitałowe) became a reality for the biggest Polish employers in the fourth quarter of 2019, but the Labour Code and Code of Civil Procedure see changes too. Some of them result in a need to … Continue Reading

Managing Political Speech In The Workplace

In the current political environment, employers and employees alike may be wondering – what, if any, political conversation in the workplace is acceptable or appropriate?  Tones of “freedom of speech,” “freedom of association,” on one hand, intersect with tenors of “workplace harassment” or simple annoyance, on the other.  Although like the political debates themselves, the … Continue Reading

“Upward Bullying”: Problems Outback for US Employers

In the typical workplace bullying scenario, the involved players are very clear—a co-worker bullies a fellow colleague or a superior bullies his or her subordinate. But what happens when the roles reverse and the employee bullies the employer? This scenario, dubbed “upward bullying,” occurs when a subordinate bullies someone in a managerial position. Upward bullying … Continue Reading

Mean manager mistreats minion – employer left to pay the cost

A recent decision of the Queensland Court of Appeal (QCA) has set the record straight in finding that an aged care provider was vicariously liable for the belittling and aggressive conduct of its manager, and awarding the worker $435,583.98 in damages for a psychiatric injury. Ms Eaton started work as an administrative assistant for an … Continue Reading

First Stop Bullying Orders made by Australian Fair Work Commission

On 1 January 2014, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) gained the jurisdiction to make “stop” orders in relation to bullying.     In March, the FWC handed down its first Stop Bullying Orders. The Orders, made by Senior Deputy President Drake in the case of Applicant v Respondent PR548852, were made by consent following a conference between … Continue Reading
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