The Fair Work Commission has ordered a property manager not to
make contact with two employees who were found to have been bullied
by the manager. The manager has also been ordered not to enter the
workplace while the two employees are at work or to access their
portfolios. The Commission also made reciprocal orders preventing
the employees from making contact with the manager or entering the
workplace where the property manager works.
In the recent case of CF, NW and Company A and ED  FWC
5272, two employees lodged separate 'stop bullying'
applications in the Commission alleging that a property manager,
who was their colleague, had engaged in:
conduct belittling the employees;
swearing, yelling and use of otherwise inappropriate
daily interference with and undermining of the employees'
physical intimidation and slamming of objects on the
attempts to incite the employees to victimise other staff
threats of violence towards the employees.
The employer had previously attempted to resolve the complaints
at the workplace level, which resulted in the property manager
resigning and taking up a position with a related company that
operated from a different location. Despite this, the Commission
found that there was potential for interaction between the two
businesses and their employees.
The Commission has power to make any order it considers
appropriate (other than an order for payment of compensation) if it
is satisfied that:
the worker has been bullied at work; and
there is a risk that the worker will continue to be bullied at
The Commission was satisfied that the employees had been bullied
at work by the property manager notwithstanding that the manager
was now employed by another related business, and found that there
was a risk that they would continue to be bullied if measures were
not implemented to enforce appropriate standards at the
In making the orders, the Commission took into account that the
employer did not have any formal anti-bullying or grievance
resolution procedures operating within the workplace. In addition
to the orders requiring that the bully and the victims avoid each
other, the Commission also ordered that the employer conduct
anti-bullying training with all of its staff and implement an
updated anti-bullying policy and complaints handling procedure at
the workplace. The Commission further ordered that the bullying
policy must set out appropriate future workplace behaviour and
The order remains in force for 24 months.
This was only the second published decision made under the
'stop bullying' provisions in the Fair Work Act
2009 (Cth) that were introduced in early 2014. If an employer
or individual breaches an order made under these provisions, they
face penalties of up to $54,000 for a company and $10,800 for an
individual for each breach.
Winner – EOWA Employer of Choice for Women Citation 2009,
2010, 2011 and 2012
Winner – ALB Gold Employer of Choice 2011 and 2012
Finalist – ALB Australasian Law Awards 2008, 2010, 2011 and
2012 (Best Brisbane Firm)
Winner – BRW Client Choice Awards 2009 and 2010 - Best
Australian Law Firm (revenue less than $50m)
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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An employee that refused a reasonable offer of settlement was ordered by the FWC to pay his ex-employer's legal costs.
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