The Government has approved a new Code of Practice on bullying in the workplace, which covers remote working and cyber-bullying.
The new code provides practical guidance for employers and workers on the management of workplace bullying complaints and on the prevention of workplace bullying, in line with the requirements of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.
It is the result of a collaboration between the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) and the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), and replaces the two agencies’ previously separate codes.
Code to bring 'clarity'
This revised code, which came into effect on 23 December, applies to all employments in Ireland “irrespective of whether employees work at a fixed location, at home or are mobile”.
WRC Director General Liam Kelly (pictured) said the single code would bring further clarity to all workplaces, while HSA chief executive Dr Sharon McGuinness said it would be of significant benefit to employers, employees and their representatives.
Workplace bullying defined
The code, announced by Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail Damien English, defines workplace bullying as “repeated inappropriate behaviour, direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work and/or in the course of employment, which could be reasonably regarded as undermining the individual’s right to dignity at work”.
The code states that “the use of cyber or digital means” for the goal of bullying may also be covered by the requirements of the 2005 legislation.