Sexual Harassment and Bullying
Draft Code tackles bullying and harassment in notorious industry
The Australian live entertainment industry’s peak body has released a draft Code of Practice on preventing workplace discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying, following the widespread allegations of sexual abuse and other serious misconduct against high-profile entertainment figures, like US film producer Harvey Weinstein.
Live Performance Australia (LPA) said the Code aims to provide comprehensive, best practice standards to prevent workplace harassment and bullying, and will be mandatory for LPA members.
The draft Code: defines discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, workplace bullying, vilification and victimisation; explains how to develop and implement prevention policies, complaint-handling procedures and a positive workplace environment; and warns that discrimination, harassment and bullying are “unlawful” under state, territory and Commonwealth anti-discrimination and equal opportunity legislation, as well as the Fair Work Act.
Curiously, the draft makes only passing references to work health and safety laws, saying live entertainment employers “may” have obligations under them.
The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) told OHS Alert’s associate publication Workplace Express that it hasn’t finalised its position on the content of the draft, but is “encouraged” that a Code is being developed.
An MEAA survey of 1,124 people in the live performance industry, released in December, found that at least 40 per cent have experienced sexual harassment (with nearly all these people experiencing it on multiple occasions), 20 per cent have received obscene communications, 14 per cent have been sexually assaulted, and 62 per cent have been bullied at work.
LPA chief executive Evelyn Richardson said every member of the industry “must be aware of their legal responsibilities and their duty of care to their employees and have policies, procedures, education and training in place to deal with these issues”.
If you a victim of harassment or bullying in the workplace, talk to Steve Walker from Walker Law Group. Steve is an accredited Personal Injury Law Specialist and is on the approved panel of WIRO Lawyers in NSW 1300 363013