Government seeks feedback on workplace bullying

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Bullying and harassment at work are complex problems, which can have significant impacts on workers, businesses, wider community, and the economy.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is inviting the public to have their say on an Issues Paper that focuses on bullying and harassment at work in New Zealand.

Employment relations policy manager Tracy Mears says the Issues Paper provides an in-depth look into what we know about the nature and extent of bullying and harassment at work.

“It describes the current health and safety at work and employment relations regulatory systems and the processes they have for preventing and responding to bullying and harassment at work.”

Bullying at work is repeated and unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or group of workers that could lead to harm. Harassment includes any unwanted and unjustified behaviour that another person finds offensive or humiliating. Bullying and harassment can be sensitive and difficult issues to raise, which makes it difficult to fully understand the scale of the problem, underlying causes and the ways to address it, says MBIE.

“We want to hear from a wide range of people about the effectiveness of the systems that prevent and respond to bullying and harassment at work, what areas are working well and not so well, and what improvements can be made,” says Tracy.

“Feedback from the consultation will be used to guide future policies and changes to health and safety and employment relations systems to address bullying and harassment at work.

“To support you in making a submission, we have set a long consultation period to give individuals and groups more time to collate their response. You can submit your feedback in a number of ways, including online or by post.

“The consultation timeframe also recognises that this is a very busy time for many people, as they respond to the impacts of COVID-19 and are likely to be focused on other things over the Christmas and New Years’ period,” says Tracy.

Submissions are due to MBIE before 5pm on March 31, 2021

The Issues paper and information on how to submit your feedback can be found on the MBIE website.

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