Harassment and bullying policy

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What's a harassment and bullying policy, and when do you need it?

You must have this policy in place for your employees and workers.

The policy adopts the typical and lawful definition of the following behaviour as harassment, bullying and/or intimidation:

  1. Harassing or bullying anyone else (see our detailed definitions of these in the template policy)
  2. Threatening anyone or otherwise retaliating against anyone who raises a harassment or bullying complaint
  3. Making malicious or bad faith allegations of bullying, harassment or intimidation
  4. Giving false or intentionally misleading information during any investigation.

It also makes clear that there may well be other examples of this behaviour. This is not an exhaustive list.

Additionally, the template policy also emphasises that it applies to conduct taking place:

  • anywhere on the relevant business’ premises; and/or
  • anywhere away from the these premises during work-related social events, business events or business trips.

It warns employees, apprentices, consultants, officers, contractors, interns, volunteers, job applicants, agency and casual workers, that instigating, taking part in, condoning, supporting (actively or passively), and/or deliberately or unwittingly failing to prevent, any of the above listed activities (or their equivalents) will lead to action under the business’ disciplinary policy and may lead to dismissal for misconduct, or gross misconduct.

Our experts recommend that you do not give this policy contractual status in any employment contract that you put in place, but that you do reference it in that contract, make clear that the employee is expected to comply with the policy and that you have the right to update or revise it, in your discretion and when you want to.

This template includes all the statutory requirements, as well as optional elements for you to consider