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Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) & Anti Bullying

Policy

This policy applies to all staff  employed by Global Marketplace including contractors and covers all work-related functions and activities including external training courses sponsored by Global Marketplace. We aim to give every job applicant and employee a fair go. We recruit and promote on the basis of merit. ie. the right person for the job will get the job.

We encourage diversity in our workplace, as it contributes to our business success by:

  • Providing a safe, respectful and flexible work environment
  • New approaches and ideas
  • Attracting and retaining the best possible employees
  • Delivering our services in a safe and respectful manner

Global Marketplace considers all types of harassment, discrimination, bullying and workplace violence to be an unacceptable form of behaviour. We believe that all employees should be treated with respect and fairness. Disciplinary action will be taken against any employee who engages in such behaviour. This can include possible termination of employment.

Our Commitment

We are committed to ensuring that:

  • Our workplace is free from harassment, discrimination, bullying, victimisation and workplace violence
  • All complaints are treated seriously
  • All complaints are attended to promptly and confidentially
  • Action is taken to ensure that misconduct does not continue
  • Complainants and witnesses are not victimised

What is EEO

EEO means that staff are treated fairly and equitably and that individuals are judged on their ability to do a job based on merit, skills, qualifications and experience rather than making assumptions due to characteristics such as gender, race, marital status, disability, etc. It also means promoting and encouraging a workplace that is free from sexism, racism, sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination.

EEO legislation deals with three main areas:

  • Discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Affirmative action

Global marketplace recognises the rights of individuals and groups to be free from discrimination and harassment on the personal characteristics as set out in legislation as follows:

It is also against the law to sexually harass or victimise someone, or to vilify someone because of their race or religion.

Please note clicking on the above links will take you to a definition of each personal characteristic on the Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission website.

What is Discrimination? 

Discrimination is when a person, or group of people are treated less favourably than others because of his or her background or personal characteristics, e.g. age, gender, race or disability. This is known as ‘direct discrimination’.

For example: An employer refused to hire a suitably qualified person as a shop assistant because they are Indigenous, and instead hires a less qualified person of a different racial background. This could be viewed racial discrimination.

Discrimination is also when an unreasonable rule or policy applies to everyone but has the effect of disadvantaging some people because of a personal characteristic they share. This is known as ‘indirect discrimination’.

For example: A policy that states ‘only full-time workers will be promoted’ could discriminate against anyone who is more likely to work part-time, or currently working part-time.

What is Harassment? 

Harassment is a form of discrimination. It consists of unwelcome, embarrassing, unsolicited, offensive, abusive, belittling or threatening behaviour directed at an individual or group because of some real or perceived attribute such as an individual’s ethnicity, sexuality, or disability in circumstances which a reasonable person would have anticipated that the person harassed would be offended, humiliated or intimidated.

Harassment can include behaviours such as:

  • Telling insulting jokes about particular racial groups
  • Sending explicit or sexually suggestive emails or text messages
  • Displaying racially offensive or pornographic posters, or screen savers
  • Making derogatory comments or taunts about someone’s race
  • Asking intrusive questions about someone’s personal life, including his or her sex life

A one-off incident can constitute harassment. If an individual’s behaviour makes an employee feel offended, humiliated or intimidated, then harassment and/or discrimination is occurring in the workplace and immediate action is required.

The law also has specific provisions relating to certain types of harassment.

  • Sexual Harassment is any unwanted or unwelcome sexual behaviour where a reasonable person would have anticipated the possibility that the person harassed would feel offended, humiliated or intimidated. It has nothing to do with mutual attraction or consensual behaviour.
  • Harassment linked to the disability of a person or their associate is against the law.
  • Offensive behaviour based on racial hatred is against the law – racial hatred is defined as something done in public that offends, insults, humiliates or intimidates a person or group of people because of race, colour, nationality or ethnic origin.

What is Sexual Harassment? 

Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual behaviour, which could be expected to make a person feel offended, humiliated or intimidated. Sexual harassment can be physical, verbal or written. It can include:

  • Comments about a person’s private life or the way they look
  • Sexually suggestive behaviour, such as leering or staring
  • Brushing up against someone, touching, fondling or hugging
  • Sexually suggestive comments or jokes
  • Displaying offensive screen savers, photos, calendars or objects
  • Repeated requests to go out
  • Requests for sex
  • Sexually explicit emails, text messages or posts on social networking sites.
  • Sexual assault

Sexual harassment is not consensual interaction, flirtation or friendship. Sexual harassment is not behaviour that is mutually agreed upon. A single incident is enough to constitute sexual harassment.

What is Bullying? 

Workplace bullying is repeated, and unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or a group of workers that creates a risk to health and safety.

Repeated behaviour refers to the persistent nature of the behaviour and can involve a range of behaviours over time.

Unreasonable behaviour refers to the behaviour that a reasonable person, having considered the circumstances, would see as unreasonable, including behaviour that is victimising, humiliating, intimidating or threatening.

Single incidents of unreasonable behaviour can also present a risk to health and safety and will not be tolerated.

Below is some examples of behaviour, intentional or unintentional, that can be perceived as workplace bullying if they are repeated, unreasonable and create a risk to health and safety:

  • Abusive, insulting or offensive language or comments
  • Aggressive and intimidating conduct
  • Belittling or humiliating comments
  • Victimisation
  • Practical jokes or imitation
  • Unjustified criticism or complaints
  • Deliberately excluding someone from work-related activities
  • Withholding information that is vital for effective work performance
  • Setting unreasonable timelines or constantly changing deadlines
  • Setting tasks that are unreasonably below or beyond a person’s skill level
  • Denying access to information, supervision, consultation or resources to the detriment of the worker
  • Spreading misinformation or malicious rumours
  • Changing work arrangements such as rosters to deliberately inconvenience a particular worker or workers

What is not Workplace Bullying? 

Reasonable management action taken by managers or supervisors to direct and manage the way work is carried out is not workplace bullying if the action is carried out in a lawful and reasonable manner, taking particular circumstances into account.

Differences of opinion and disagreements are generally not workplace bullying. People can have differences or disagreements in the workplace without engaging in repeated, unreasonable behaviour that creates a risk to health and safety. Some people may also take offence at action taken by management, but that does not mean that the management action in itself was unreasonable. However, in some cases conflict that is not managed may escalate to the point where it becomes workplace bullying.

EEO Officer 

At Global Marketplace we have an EEO Officer, who is a staff member available to assist any employee who experience discrimination and harassment in the workplace. The role of the EEO Officer is to:

  • Listen to an employee’s concerns about discrimination or harassment
  • Not form a view of the merit of any allegations
  • Provide information about the internal complaint process
  • Advise the person that in some situations where serious allegations are raised – for example, that may expose the organisation to legal liability – the issue may need to be reported to management and dealt with as a formal complaint
  • Where appropriate, provide support for a person if he or she wants to try and resolve the issue personally
  • Provide information about available support services; for example, workplace counselling services
  • Outline other options available to the person, such as lodging a complaint of discrimination or harassment with an external agency

The EEO Officer will not be responsible for investigating or making decisions about a complaint.

The nominated EEO Officer is Aurora Oliver, Production Manager.

Workplace Violence

Violence and aggression include verbal and emotional abuse or threats; and physical attack to an individual or to property by another individual or group. The impact of violence on a victim depends on the severity of the violence, his or her own experiences, skills or personality.

Violent acts include:

  • Verbal abuse, in person or over the telephone
  • Written abuse
  • Harassment
  • Threats
  • Ganging up, bullying and intimidation
  • Physical or sexual assault
  • Armed robbery
  • Malicious damage to the property of staff, customers or the business

Workplace violence may not always be a critical or extreme situation from the outset. It sometimes follows a pattern of escalating behaviour – from agitation, expressed anger or frustration and intimidating body language, to verbal/written abuse and threats, physical threats, or assault. Violence can be internal to the organisation or from external sources.

Workplace violence will not be condoned by Global Marketplace and serious disciplinary consequences, including dismissal may apply.

The complaints procedure should be followed in the event of a workplace violence complaint. However in a severe instance of violence you are required to immediately remove yourself from the situation and report the instance to a company manager. The same potential outcomes described in the procedure will apply.

Victimisation 

Victimisation is subjecting, or threatening to subject, someone to something detrimental because they have asserted their rights under equal opportunity law, made a complaint, helped someone else to make a complaint, or refused to do something because it would be discrimination, sexual harassment or victimisation. Employees will not be victimised or treated unfairly for raising an issue or making a complaint.

Workers with a Disability

Workplace Adjustments

Previously referred to as a ‘reasonable adjustment’, a workplace adjustment is a change to a work process, practice, procedure or environment that enables an employee with a disability to perform their job in a way that minimises the impact of their disability. Workplace adjustments allow a person to:

  • Perform the inherent or essential requirements of his or her job safely in the workplace
  • Have equal opportunity in recruitment processes, promotion and ongoing development
  • Experience equitable terms and conditions of employment
  • Maximise productivity

Global Marketplace will make workplace adjustments for a person with a disability who:

  • Applies for a job, is offered employment, or is an employee
  • Requires the adjustments in order to participate in the recruitment process or to perform the reasonable requirements of the job

Examples of Adjustments

Examples of workplace adjustments that create an inclusive environment include:

  • Allowing a person with disability to have some flexibility in their working hours, such as working part-time or starting and finishing later, or teleworking for part of the week
  • Redistributing minor duties (i.e. not inherent requirements of a job) that a person with disability finds difficult to do
  • Purchasing or modifying equipment like voice-activated software for someone with a vision impairment, an amplified phone for a person who is hard of hearing, or a digital recorder for someone who finds it difficult to take written notes
  • Providing additional training, mentoring, supervision and support
  • Providing an Auslan interpreter or captioning for a Deaf employee
  • Providing increased font size for people with vision impairment
  • Providing agendas in electronic formats for people who find it difficult to manipulate pages

When thinking about workplace adjustments Global Marketplace will consider the need for change as well as the associated expenses and efforts to implement these changes. If making the adjustment means a very high cost or great disruption to the workplace, it may not be considered as a workplace adjustment.

In some cases, Global Marketplace can discriminate on the basis of disability, if:

  • The adjustments needed are not reasonable
  • The person with the disability could not perform the reasonable requirements of the job even if the adjustments were made

Complaints

Should you wish to make a complaint about discrimination, harassment, bullying, violence or victimisation please refer to the Global Marketplace Grievance Complaints Policy.

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