Trade Resources Policy & Opinion Fair Work Commission Has Jurisdiction to Hear Complaints About Bulling in The Workplace

Fair Work Commission Has Jurisdiction to Hear Complaints About Bulling in The Workplace

As of the 1st of January 2014, the Fair Work Commission has jurisdiction to hear complaints about bulling in the workplace. Statistics released by the Commission has indicated that 44 applications for anti-bullying orders were made in January. An anti-bullying bench book, has also been released by the Fair Work Commission which provides information and guidance on bullying, including how applications can be made by workers and are resolved by the Commission.

This bench book is available on the FIAA Website under resources and gives guidance as to the definition of bullying. From 12 March 2014, changes to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (the "Privacy Act") will see the introduction of the Australian Privacy Principles (which will replace the current National Privacy Principles). The Privacy Amendment Act includes a set of new, harmonised, privacy principles that will regulate the handling of personal information by both Australian government agencies and businesses. These new principles are called the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs).

Under the changes, there are 13 new APPs. A number of the APPs are significantly different from the existing principles, including APP 7 on the use and disclosure of personal information for direct marketing, and APP 8 on cross-border disclosure of personal information.

The Fair Work Commission (the Commission) has commenced its first 4 year review of Modern Awards with a public conference held on 5 February 2014. The conference considered submissions relating to an Issues Paper released by the Commission in January 2014. The review process will be conducted in two stages and will be carried out over the next 18 months. Under the review, the Commission can make determinations to vary awards; including ensuring terms and conditions of awards are fair and relevant, as well as introducing or revoking awards.

Modern Awards changes can have significant effects on employers' operational arrangements and also wage costs–FIAA will advise all of our members of any changes to awards that effect their business, so please ensure that you read all communications sent by FIAA to ensure that you are up to date with any changes.

From 1 January 2014, amendments to the FW Act will change the consultation terms in awards and enterprise agreements to provide for consultation in relation to change in rosters or working hours that do not otherwise amount to a "major workplace change". The changes will require the employer to provide the employer with information about the proposed changes to their rosters or working hours, provide the employees with the opportunity to comment on the proposed changes, and consider the employees' comments before a decision is made whether to implement the changes.

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