School operations

Workplace Bullying

3 Responsibilities of the Department

The Department recognises its obligations under Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act 2004 (Vic)External Link to provide and maintain a safe working environment so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risk to health. Under the OHS Act 2004, reference to health includes psychological health.

The Department is committed to:

  • ensuring that there are clear processes in place for raising grievances and complaints
  • clearly communicating and promoting these processes amongst staff
  • monitoring the implementation of the Workplace Bullying Policy
  • identifying potential risk factors and taking prompt, reasonable action to minimise those risks including:
    • managing organisational change in an inclusive and participatory way —consult with employees affected as early as possible and develop and maintain effective communication throughout the change process
    • implementing work systems to prevent the risk of bullying and reviewing and evaluating those work systems —for example, review resource availability and seek feedback from employees through the People Matter Survey and School Climate Survey
  • promoting positive working relationships in the Department’s workplaces
  • ensuring the accessible provision of information and training as necessary to support the effective implementation of the Workplace Bullying Policy
  • reviewing the Workplace Bullying Policy and this Procedure every two years or earlier, as required and communicating any changes or updates to the Policy and Procedure across the workforce

3.1 Responsibilities of principals or their delegates

It is the role of the principal and/or their delegate to:

  • promote and model the Department’s Values
  • understand what constitutes bullying and know how to prevent or respond to bullying
  • establish and maintain an environment where employees can conduct their daily work in a safe manner and where employees feel comfortable raising concerns relating to bullying or behaviour that causes a risk to health and/or safety
  • identify behaviour that may amount to bullying, and take prompt action to address the behaviour. If the behaviour involves violence or a threat of violence, contact Victoria Police
  • consult and communicate with employees and Health and Safety Representatives (HSR) on decisions and changes that may affect their health and safety
  • ensure staff responsibilities and accountabilities are clearly defined and agreed to
  • ensure availability of adequate resources and information for employees to enable them to perform their role
  • facilitate teamwork and cooperation
  • respond to concerns in a timely manner
  • adhere to the Department’s Guidelines for Managing Complaints, Misconduct and Unsatisfactory Performance (Teaching) when managing a bullying complaint
  • encourage reporting on eduSafe PlusExternal Link (staff login required) and close out reported incidents
  • ensure employees are aware of available support services e.g. Employee Assistance Program
  • ensure that all discussions, communications and actions are handled with sensitivity and confidentiality.

3.2 Responsibilities of employees

The principal and/or their delegate in consultation with HSR must ensure that all employees are aware that they must take reasonable care for their own health, safety and wellbeing while at work and ensure that their acts or omissions do not adversely affect the health, safety and wellbeing of others.

It is the responsibility of employees who believe they are experiencing bullying to:

  • raise matters of concern at an early stage and actively participate in the complaint management process if necessary
  • provide specific information regarding the perceived or alleged bullying in a form that enables the allegation to be considered and managed accordingly
  • maintain confidentiality and not discuss or release information relating to a bullying complaint to any third party who has no legitimate involvement in the process
  • ensure that any allegations relating to bullying are made honestly and not vexatiously or maliciously, or to impede legitimate managerial action
  • cooperate with any complaint procedure in a timely and professional manner
Chapter 3 of the Workplace Bullying Procedure on the Department's commitment to providing a safe working environment and the responsibilities of the Department and principals/delegates and employees

Reviewed 24 January 2022

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