a. Self management by the complainant
A person experiencing workplace bullying or harassment should first attempt to self‑manage the situation, where appropriate, (noting options below for assisted self-management and represented self-management), aiming to resolve it before it escalates, by:
- telling the person behaving unreasonably that the unreasonable behaviour is not welcome or acceptable
- asking that it stop.
Self-management may not be appropriate if it puts the MOP(S) Act employee making a complaint at risk, or if the problem is with a group, rather than one individual.
The Employee Assistance Program is available to assist with information about self‑management solutions. The following techniques may assist when raising the matter with the person who is alleged to have engaged in bullying or harassing behaviour:
- remain calm and communicate professionally
- describe the unreasonable behaviour rather than the person exhibiting it
- describe the effects of the unreasonable behaviour
- an agreement that the unreasonable behaviour will not happen again, or
- an acknowledgement of the request for the unreasonable behaviour to stop.
- agreements and acknowledgements reached through self-management measures should be put in writing and signed and kept by each involved party. Signed agreements and acknowledgements can then be used as evidence of an attempt to resolve the matter, should there be a breach of the agreement, or a similar matter arises between the involved parties.
b. Assisted self management
If the person experiencing workplace bullying or harassment does not feel safe or confident enough to self‑manage a situation, they should seek the assistance of another person within the workplace to raise the issue with the person whose behaviour is unreasonable, for example:
- their employing Parliamentarian;
- a MOP(S) Act employee who supervises their work;
- the WHS Site Officer for their workplace;
- the Health and Safety Representative for their workgroup (published on the MaPS website); or
- a Staff Assistance Officer (published on the MaPS website).
Anyone asked to assist or act on behalf of an individual should use a confidential and non‑confrontational approach and act in accordance with this policy when discussing an issue. Undertaking training available to MOP(S) Act employees about workplace bullying or harassment may assist in understanding how to deal with issues such as conflict, confidentiality and related issues when providing support.
A person should not attempt to assist, or continue to assist, another to self-manage workplace bullying and/or harassment if they don’t feel comfortable or competent with the role, or there is a risk that their involvement could exacerbate the matter.
c. Represented self management
If assistance within the workplace is unavailable, or not appropriate in the particular circumstances, the person experiencing workplace bullying or harassment can seek the assistance of another person outside the workplace with relevant knowledge of managing workplace bullying and/or harassment, such as:
- a Staff Assistance Officer for their work group;
- a Health and Safety Representative for their work group;
- a representative of their union or professional association; or
- a person with relevant professional training in mediation or counselling skills (these services can be accessed via the Employee Assistance Program).
Health and safety representatives can raise issues on behalf of workers in their work group. They can also give advice to workers in their work group on how to approach an issue. The health and safety representative is not responsible for trying to resolve the matter.
As the MOP(S) Act employment framework is complex and unique, MOP(S) Act employees should confirm any information or advice given to them regarding their employment conditions with the Staff Help Desk.