To: All MPs, NZ Parliament

Amend legislation to prevent workplace bullying in New Zealand

The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 needs to have a specific section that includes psychological and emotional harm and trauma in the workplace.

There also needs to be a formal jurisdiction where workplace bullying complaints can be heard, as well as trained professional and independent investigators.

Why is this important?

Latest update from Allan Halse at CultureSafeNZ in Hamilton:
https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/workplace-bullying-causes-some-kiwis-suffer-mental-health-issues

New Zealand has the world’s second highest rate of bullying in the workplace. Statistics suggest that over 350,000 (17.8% of workforce) employees are currently being bullied. [1,2]

However currently the laws as they stand make it hard to combat.

There is no formal process or jurisdiction to combat workplace bullying behaviours in New Zealand. This means there is no place in New Zealand to take a complaint about workplace bullying.

Presently cases are directed to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA), however the ERA can't deal with workplace bullying as a health and safety issue. Workplace bullying is a health and safety issue, not an employment issue.

This means that cases are almost impossible to win and even if they are won are not settled appropriately. For example even if you win a case you will be ordered to pay the costs of the bully’s legal fees.[3]

There needs to be a specific formal jurisdiction set up in the legislation where workplace bullying complaints can be heard as health and safety cases.

There also needs to be trained professionals and independent investigators who know what bullying behaviours look like and how these behaviours impact people. They also need to be independent so that the “sham” investigations that employers currently use can be left in the past and all evidence can be presented.

Let’s address these problems and get rid of bullying from all our workplaces. This petition will alert Government to our serious concerns, and demand action.

References
1 - http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/better-business/83618177/new-zealand-has-worlds-second-highest-rate-of-workplace-bullying

2 - ‘Ex morgue worker on bullying claims: 'We've lost everything'’ https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11855415

3 - http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/67597611/former-health-board-employee-must-pay-costs

How it will be delivered

To all New Zealand MPs

New Zealand

Reasons for signing

  • The extent of bullying and sexual harrassment in the NZ workforce is appalling and there is insufficient moral or financial support for victims who are often silenced by confidentiality agreements whilst the offenders are free to continue with their despicable behaviour.
  • Ive witnessed numerous colleagues be bullied and it's not okay. Thank you Culture Safe for all that you do!
  • This is a Health & Safety issue that is a killer in New Zealand, affecting not only the individual/s affected, but economic productivity at a higher level. Tall poppy syndrome and management by egos must be stamped out if New Zealand truly wants to progress and shed its 'stuck in the 1950s' reputation.

Updates

2017-09-10 18:24:19 +1200

500 signatures reached

2017-06-30 17:32:50 +1200

100 signatures reached

2017-06-30 15:12:54 +1200

50 signatures reached

2017-06-30 13:26:46 +1200

25 signatures reached

2017-06-30 12:52:40 +1200

10 signatures reached