The Health and Safety Authority and the Workplace Relations Commission jointly published a new Code of Practice on the Prevention and Resolution of Bullying at Work which came into operation in January 2021 and will replace the previous Code of Practice in this area issued in 2007.
The new Code specifically provides:
- practical guidance on identifying, managing and preventing bullying at work
- good industrial relations principles governing effective engagement in the workplace;
- highlights the procedures to be put in place by the employer;
- reinforces obligations for employers to progress complaints informally where possible;
- emphasizes the key role of properly trained Mediators in resolving issues at an early stage;
The updated Code clearly defines what is bullying, what is not bullying and the nature of ordinary performance management or reasonable corrective action. The recommended approach includes a second informal stage to place greater emphasis on attempts to resolve matters before resorting to a formal investigation. Specific roles are defined to include a Contact Person whose main purpose is to be supportive, listen to the complain and provide information and a (trained) Nominated Person whose role is to try to informally resolve the complaint.
While the new Code is distinct from the Code of Practice on Harassment which is the responsibility of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC), it is acceptable to combine the procedure for dealing with complaints under both areas in the one policy. It is important to reiterate however that these are tow very distinct concepts.
The Code applies to all employments in Ireland irrespective of whether employees work remotely, at a fixed location or are mobile.
For full details of the new Code visit here.