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‘Tip of the iceberg’
Bullying and mental health in the workplace
Tom Martin, Special Counsel
Norton Rose Fulbright Austral...
Do you agree?
Bullying is the key
workplace health and
safety issue of our time.
Federal Parliament’s 2012 report into bul...
The numbers tell a story
• There are extensive statistics on bullying:
– Number of people bullied each year in Australia b...
Bullying’s the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of psychological health
4
The multiple legal consequences of bullying
5
Bullying
Workers
Compensation
Discrimination
Unfair
Dismissal
Work Health
an...
The Bullying Spectrum
“Initiation
rites”
Physical
assault
SUBTLE OBVIOUS
Ostracising
Favouritism
Unwarranted/
Excessive
cr...
Snapshot of the new federal anti-bullying laws
7
A worker who
reasonably
believes they have
been bullied, can
apply for an...
Mandatory Risk Management
Regulatory
requirement to:
Identify
workplace
hazards
including bullying
Identify causes
of bull...
Identify bullying risk factors – Generic Workplace Risks
•Significant technological change
•Restructuring or redundancy
•C...
Identify bullying risk factors – specific issues
10
Hazard reports
Issues raised by WHS representatives
Workplace data - s...
Assessing Bullying Risk Factors
11
Bullying Risk Assessment
Organisational Change
• change in supervisor/manager
• signifi...
Lack of appropriate work systems
• lack of resources
• lack of experience
• lack of role definition
• uncertainty about jo...
Usual Controls to Eliminate or Minimise Bullying
Implement policies
that state bullying is
not tolerated.
Enforce policies...
Why the usual bullying controls may not be sufficient
You won’t ever eliminate unintentional, unreasonable behaviour -
but...
Protecting and improving workplace mental health
Early intervention
• Mental Health First Aid
Culture
• Tristan Jepson Fou...
16
17
Mindfulness
“The faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention, over
and over again, is the very root of judg...
Growth in mindfulness research
19
Mindfulness meditation – health and safety
Health benefits of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
• Reduces chronic pain, h...
Global organisations using mindfulness
Disclaimer
Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, Norton Rose Fulbright Australia, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, Norton Rose Fulbr...
Tom Martin - Norton Rose Fulbright - Bullying and beyond: Managing risk with mental health programs
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Tom Martin - Norton Rose Fulbright - Bullying and beyond: Managing risk with mental health programs

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Tom Martin delivered the presentation at the 2014 Perth Safety in Action Conference.

The 2014 Perth Safety in Action Conference focused on enhancing compliance, productivity and affordability for big and small business. Highlights included an international keynote address from Neville Rockhouse, the Safety and Training Manager for Pike River Coal in New Zealand.

For more information about the event, please visit: http://www.safetyinaction.com.au/SIAPerth14

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Transcript of "Tom Martin - Norton Rose Fulbright - Bullying and beyond: Managing risk with mental health programs"

  1. 1. ‘Tip of the iceberg’ Bullying and mental health in the workplace Tom Martin, Special Counsel Norton Rose Fulbright Australia 11 June 2014
  2. 2. Do you agree? Bullying is the key workplace health and safety issue of our time. Federal Parliament’s 2012 report into bullying
  3. 3. The numbers tell a story • There are extensive statistics on bullying: – Number of people bullied each year in Australia between 400,000 and 2 million – 1 in 4 employed workers say they have been bullied – 2.5 - 5 million Australians will experience workplace bullying at some point during their career – Productivity Commission’s estimate of cost of bullying to Australian businesses is between $6 - $36 billion per year. 3
  4. 4. Bullying’s the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of psychological health 4
  5. 5. The multiple legal consequences of bullying 5 Bullying Workers Compensation Discrimination Unfair Dismissal Work Health and Safety FWC anti- bullying Criminal law
  6. 6. The Bullying Spectrum “Initiation rites” Physical assault SUBTLE OBVIOUS Ostracising Favouritism Unwarranted/ Excessive criticism Unfair allocation of tasks Name calling Denial of benefits 196029456
  7. 7. Snapshot of the new federal anti-bullying laws 7 A worker who reasonably believes they have been bullied, can apply for an order to make the bullying stop. Bullying happens when: An individual or group repeatedly behaves unreasonably towards a worker or group; & The behaviour creates a risk to health and safety; But does NOT include reasonable management action, taken in a reasonable manner. The Commission can make an order to stop bullying if: It is satisfied the worker has been bullied at work; and there is a risk it will continue. The Commission must take into account: The outcomes of any investigation into the matter The availability of any dispute procedure available Any other matter
  8. 8. Mandatory Risk Management Regulatory requirement to: Identify workplace hazards including bullying Identify causes of bullying Assess risks and implement controls to: • Eliminate bullying; or • Reduce bullying to the extent reasonably practicable Monitor and review for ongoing appropriateness 8
  9. 9. Identify bullying risk factors – Generic Workplace Risks •Significant technological change •Restructuring or redundancy •Change in work methods •Outsourcing Organizational change •Autocratic leadership (strict and directive) •Unstructured leadership styles (inadequate or inconsistent supervision, poor delegation or guidance) Negative leadership styles •Lack of resources, training and role definition •Unreasonable timeframes and hours Lack of appropriate work systems •Criticism and other negative interactions •Interpersonal conflict Poor workplace relationships •Young, new, mature, apprentices, injured workers, piece workers and minoritiesVulnerable workers 9
  10. 10. Identify bullying risk factors – specific issues 10 Hazard reports Issues raised by WHS representatives Workplace data - sick leave, transfer requests, resignations. Results from workplace culture surveys and exit questionnaires Sources of workers’ compensation claims Patterns of worker complaints and grievances (formal and informal)
  11. 11. Assessing Bullying Risk Factors 11 Bullying Risk Assessment Organisational Change • change in supervisor/manager • significant technological change • restructuring • downsizing • change in work method/s • outsourcing • plan all change • consult with workers affected as early possible • develop and maintain effective communication throughout the change • seek and act on feedback throughout the change • review and evaluate change processes Negative leadership styles Autocratic Characterised by styles that are strict and directive, workers not being involved in decision making, not allowing flexibility Laissez-faire Characterised by inadequate or absent supervision, responsibilities inappropriately and informally delegated to subordinates, little or no guidance provided to subordinates • management accountability for positive leadership style • management supervision, support and training • leadership coaching, including providing constructive feedback, communication skills, democratic/participative leadership • mentor and support new and poor performing managers • regular feedback provided on management performance (including feedback from workers under supervision), feedback acted on • implement and review performance improvement/development plans • provide regular leadership skills update training (e.g. yearly) • include leadership questions (e.g. conduct and performance) in exit interviews and worker opinion surveys Work environment risk identification Risk assessment Risk control measures Long-term stability, predictability, continuity, certainty High levels of unplanned and reactive change; change that creates confusion, ambiguity, uncertainty Democratic Collaborative, consultative, treats staff fairly, interpersonal interactions supportive and positive, accessible and communicates effectively Autocratic Task emphasis, lack of involvement of workers with decision making, strict, directive, lacks trust, poor delegation, tight control, poor interpersonal skills Democratic Collaborative, consultative, treats staff fairly, interpersonal interactions supportive and positive, accessible and communicates effectively Laissez-faire Lack of direction, lack of supervision, absence of role clarity, lack of responsibility, lack of support/systems/ procedures Lower risk Higher risk
  12. 12. Lack of appropriate work systems • lack of resources • lack of experience • lack of role definition • uncertainty about job roles and way work should be done • poorly designed rostering • unreasonable performance measures or timeframes • lack of support systems • develop and implement standard operating procedures • review and monitor work loads and staffing level • review resource availability • redesign and clearly define jobs • reduce excessive working hours • seek regular feedback from staff over concerns about roles and responsibilities Poor workplace relationships • critical and negative interactions • negative relationships between supervisors and subordinates • interpersonal conflict • workers excluded • develop and implement a conflict management process • provide training (e.g. diversity and tolerance, addressing conflict in the workplace, interpersonal communication and interaction) • ensure supervisors act on inappropriate behaviour Workplace characteristics Vulnerable workers/staff , including: • young workers • new workers • apprentices • injured workers and workers on return to work plans • workers who are in a minority due to cultural and religious difference • piece workers • workers in a minority because of ethnicity, disability, political views, gender or sexual preference • develop and implement systems to support and protect vulnerable staff • train workers (e.g. valuing workplace diversity and tolerance) • train line mangers to deal with workers at higher risk • implement a contact officer system to provide support and advice • implement a ‘buddy’ system for new workers • monitor workplace relationships Assessing Bullying Risk Factors (con’t) 1212 Bullying Risk Assessment (Continued) Work environment risk identification Risk assessment Lower risk Higher risk Risk control measures Clearly defined roles and responsibilities, clear work requirements, clear lines of authority, well organised, realistic workloads and job demands High levels of uncertainty around roles and responsibility, lack of clarity around expectations, poor communication channels, excessive/unrealistic work demands Poorly trained staff Open communication, clarity regarding standards of behaviour required, inclusion management, resolution process for managing interpersonal conflicts Unmanaged and unresolved conflicts and disputes, high levels of interpersonal conflict and disputation tolerated Inappropriate behaviour towards vulnerable staff tolerated/ignored Lack of appropriate communication processes to report discrimination, abuse and improper conduct Lack of trust /confidence in management's willingness to resolve problems Systems to support and monitor the integration of workers Accepting of differences and diversity Appropriate supervision
  13. 13. Usual Controls to Eliminate or Minimise Bullying Implement policies that state bullying is not tolerated. Enforce policies against all levels of staff. Implement formal and informal complaint-handling procedures that are easily accessed. Train all staff in the policy and procedures Make pro-active interventions ‘at risk’ areas, e.g. training and supervision Conduct credible investigation into complaints. 13
  14. 14. Why the usual bullying controls may not be sufficient You won’t ever eliminate unintentional, unreasonable behaviour - but you can improve workers’ resilience to it. 14 Bully Trained and compliant Oblivious to effect on others Victim Vulnerable Appears unaffected
  15. 15. Protecting and improving workplace mental health Early intervention • Mental Health First Aid Culture • Tristan Jepson Foundation - Best Practice Guidelines Training • Exercise, diet and fatigue • Resilience • CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy • Mindfulness meditation 15
  16. 16. 16
  17. 17. 17
  18. 18. Mindfulness “The faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention, over and over again, is the very root of judgment, character and will . . . An education which should improve this faculty would be the education par excellence. But it is easier to define this ideal than to give practical directions for bringing it about.” William James, 1890, The Principles of Psychology Today, this faculty can be measured and improved at a clinical level. 18
  19. 19. Growth in mindfulness research 19
  20. 20. Mindfulness meditation – health and safety Health benefits of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction • Reduces chronic pain, headaches, blood pressure, cholesterol • Reduces stress, anxiety, depression and use of intoxicants • Improves immune function Performance benefits • Improves working memory • Reduces mind wandering The University of California is currently undertaking a study into the effect on nurses’ safety performance after an 8 week course in MBSR that has been adjusted to focus on safe behaviours. 20
  21. 21. Global organisations using mindfulness
  22. 22. Disclaimer Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, Norton Rose Fulbright Australia, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa (incorporated as Deneys Reitz Inc) and Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P., each of which is a separate legal entity, are members (“the Norton Rose Fulbright members”) of Norton Rose Fulbright Verein, a Swiss Verein. Norton Rose Fulbright Verein helps coordinate the activities of the Norton Rose Fulbright members but does not itself provide legal services to clients. References to “Norton Rose Fulbright”, “the law firm”, and “legal practice” are to one or more of the Norton Rose Fulbright members or to one of their respective affiliates (together “Norton Rose Fulbright entity/entities”). No individual who is a member, partner, shareholder, director, employee or consultant of, in or to any Norton Rose Fulbright entity (whether or not such individual is described as a “partner”) accepts or assumes responsibility, or has any liability, to any person in respect of this presentation. Any reference to a partner or director is to a member, employee or consultant with equivalent standing and qualifications of the relevant Norton Rose Fulbright entity. The purpose of this presentation is to provide information as to developments in the law. It does not contain a full analysis of the law nor does it constitute an opinion of any Norton Rose Fulbright entity on the points of law discussed. You must take specific legal advice on any particular matter which concerns you. If you require any advice or further information, please speak to your usual contact at Norton Rose Fulbright. 23
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