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Finance Responsibilities

Finance:
  • assists Parliamentarians to minimise and manage workplace bullying and harassment
  • consults with Parliamentarians and MOP(S) Act employees;
  • provides information and training
  • facilitates hazard identification and assists with risk management; and
  • facilitates the provision of external assistance.

Finance will:

a.  Assist Parliamentarians to:

  • design work systems and practices within their workplaces to minimise the risk of workplace bullying and harassment;
  • promote a workplace culture free from bullying and harassment;
  • respond to allegations of bullying and harassment within their workplace(s); and
  • action any recommendations or orders made by Comcare, the Fair Work Commission or the Australian Human Rights Commission following an allegation of workplace bullying or harassment within the Parliamentarian’s office.

b.  In relation to information, training and consultation:

  • provide general advice on workplace bullying, sexual harassment and other forms of harassment to Parliamentarians and MOP(S) Act employees, through the Ministerial and Parliamentary Services website and departmental circulars;
  • provide specific information, advice and assistance in relation to workplace bullying and harassment and related issues to:
  • administer a Staff Assistance Officer network for MOP(S) Act employees, to provide an optional initial point of contact for MOP(S) Act employees who are affected by workplace bullying, harassment or related issues;
  • provide online training in preventing and managing workplace bullying, harassment and discrimination, tailored to Parliamentarians and accessible through the Ministerial and Parliamentary Services website
  • provide training in preventing and managing workplace bullying and harassment, tailored to MOP(S) Act employees, in the form of:
    • online training; and
    • face to face training delivered under the Professional Development Program for MOP(S) Act employees
    • specialist training for Staff Assistance Officers;
  • consult with MOP(S) Act employees through the Work Health and Safety Committee, Advice and Support Directors and the Staff Help Desk on general matters relating to bullying and harassment
  • maintain this policy, in consultation with the Work Health and Safety Committee for MOP(S) Act employees; and Parliamentarians;
  • ensure that Finance employees whose responsibilities include the provision of information to Parliamentarians and MOP(S) Act employees are provided with up-to-date information regarding:
    • the legislative framework for responding to workplace bullying and harassment
    • information issued by Comcare, Safe Work Australia, the Fair Work Commission or the Australian Human Rights Commission that is relevant to bullying and harassment within MOP(S) Act employment.

c.  In relation to hazard identification and risk management:

  • maintain systems for MOP(S) Act employees to report workplace bullying, harassment and related issues to Finance, through:
  • treat all reports of bullying, harassment and related issues seriously, by:
    • initiating a response promptly
    • managing all allegations of bullying and harassment in accordance with this policy and any legislative requirements that may apply
    • observing natural justice in all dealings with all people involved in an allegation of workplace bullying or harassment
    • ensuring that where required, rehabilitation services are provided by the Commonwealth as soon as practicable; to minimise further risks to health and safety
    • evaluating each report systematically and designing a tailored response that is:
      • proportionate to the allegation
      • fair and equitable to all parties, noting that ultimately, Finance must act in accordance with the law and in the best interests of the Commonwealth
  • maintain a system for MOP(S) Act employees and their immediate family to discuss workplace bullying, harassment and related issues confidentially, with qualified counsellors, through provision of an Employee Assistance Program
  • maintain a system for MOP(S) Act employees to access peer support from within their workgroup, through a network of trained Staff Assistance Officers
  • maintain systems for Parliamentarians and MOP(S) Act employees to discuss workplace bullying, harassment and related issues with Finance, through their Advice and Support Director
  • consult with the employing Parliamentarian regarding direct allegations of workplace bullying or harassment within the Parliamentarian’s workplace
  • review information relevant to the identification and management of workplace bullying and/or harassment risks in Parliamentarians’ offices routinely, at Senior Executive Service level
  • consult with the employing Parliamentarian, and where appropriate Comcare, in situations where Finance has evaluated the risk of bullying and/or harassment in a Parliamentarian’s workplace and has concerns that, without intervention, it may be, or continue to be, an unsafe workplace.

d.  Facilitate the provision of external assistance, where necessary

  • Where a complaint about workplace bullying or harassment cannot be resolved within a Parliamentarian’s office without external assistance:
    • consult with the employing Parliamentarian and the complainant(s) regarding options to attempt to resolve the situation
    • facilitate the provision of mediation, investigation or regulatory services where appropriate to the circumstances.

Last updated: 06 November 2019