Anti-Discrimination and Harassment  Policy & Procedure

Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Policy & Procedure

Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Policy & Procedure

Revision Date: 8/04/2015 by Charter Australia

Policy Statement

Discrimination:

Charter Australia complies with the Anti-Discrimination Act (1977) and the Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act (1984), and ensures that all grievances are dealt with fairly.

Charter Australia does not allow any kind of discrimination toward any group or individuals in any form, inclusive of:

  • Gender
  • Pregnancy
  • Race, nationality, ethnic or religious background
  • Marital status
  • Homosexuality (male or female, actual or presumed)
  • Age (in relation to compulsory retirement)

Charter Australia follows all relevant legislation for CRICOS schools, in particular:

  • The Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000
  • NSW Occupational Health & Safety Act 2000
  • Work Health and Safety Act 2011
  • Affirmative Action (Equal Employment Opportunity for Women) Act 1986
  • The National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students (the National Code) 2007
  • National VET Regulator Act 2011

Harassment

Charter Australia will not tolerate harassment, victimisation, bullying or any such conduct that has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating any intimidating, hostile, or an offensive learning environment. This includes harassment, victimisation and bullying because of gender, race, national origin, religion, disability, sexuality or age.

Harassment is unlawful under Commonwealth and State Legislation and all harassment, bullying and victimisation are contrary to the duty of care to provide a safe environment for work and learning. Harassment, victimisation and bullying can take many forms and can be overt or subtle, direct or indirect. Examples of harassment may include:

  • Unwelcome physical contact
  • Repeated unwelcome invitations
  • Insulting or threatening language or gestures
  • Continual unjustified comments about a student’s work or work capacity
  • Jokes and comments about someone’s ethnicity, race, religion, nationality, gender or sexual preference
  • Picture, posters, graffiti, electronic images, etc. that are offensive, obscene or objectionable

Examples of victimisation may include:

  • Persistent and unreasonable unfavourable treatment
  • Refusing to provide information to someone
  • Intentionally ignoring someone
  • Mocking someone’s customs or cultures
  • Lower assessment of student work

Examples of bullying may include:

  • Using strength, power or position to coerce others by fear
  • Behaviour that intimidates, degrades or humiliates a person
  • Aggression, verbal and/or physical abuse, or similar behaviour
  • Frequent and/or repeated ‘put-downs’
  • Persistent and/or unreasonable criticism of student performance
  • Violence (actual or threatened)

All staff and students are expected to work in an atmosphere based on mutual respect for the rights and differences of each individual. Students and staff should be aware that differing social and cultural standards may mean behaviour that is acceptable to some can be perceived as offensive by others. Such conduct, when experienced or observed, should be reported to Charter Australia management. All complaints will be promptly investigated. The privacy of the student filing a report and the individual under investigation will be respected at all times, in line with the school’s obligation to conduct a fair and thorough investigation.

Charter Australia expects all students and staff to uphold the spirit of this policy. Breaches of the policy may result in disciplinary action, including expulsion for students or dismissal for staff.

Who is responsible?

It is important to note that everybody is responsible for maintaining a workplace and study environment that is free from discrimination and harassment. The following outlines the responsibilities of the management and employees (including contractors) of Charter Australia:

The management team has a responsibility to:[1]

  • Ensure the Discrimination and Harassment Policy and associated procedures are introduced to all new employees and students during their induction period;
  • Ensure the Discrimination and Harassment Policy and associated procedures are made available to all employees and students and is actively communicated within Charter Australia;
  • Set expectations of supervisors, trainers and assessors to demonstrate appropriate conduct and to monitor the conduct of employees and students within the operations of Charter Australia;
  • Encourage and provide avenues for employees and students who feel they have been harassed or discriminated against to come forward and report their experience in a non-judgemental and confidential environment;
  • Monitor the Charter Australia operating environment to ensure it is free from material (posters, notice board items, electronic media) that is sexually related, is racist or is likely to offend;
  • Ensure training and assessment services are developed and delivered to students to encourage their participation in an inclusive environment that is free from discrimination and harassment;
  • Facilitate training and awareness sessions that educates Charter Australia employees about anti-discrimination and harassment measures;
  • Ensure that selection criteria for supervisor, trainer and assessor positions includes the requirement that they have a demonstrated understanding of and ability to deal with discrimination and harassment issues as part of their overall responsibility;
  • Facilitate the display of posters on notice boards in common work areas and the distribution of relevant brochures to promote an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment;
  • Include accountability mechanisms in position descriptions for supervisors, trainers and assessors; and
  • Periodically review the policy to ensure it is operating effectively and contains up to date information.

Employees (including contractors) and students have a responsibility to:

  • Seek out and become familiar with the Discrimination and Harassment Policy and associated procedures during their induction period;
  • Remain informed of changes to the Discrimination and Harassment Policy and associated procedures that may occur from time to time;
  • Set the example of appropriate behaviour and conduct for other Charter Australia employees and students and monitor the conduct of employees and students within the operations of Charter Australia;
  • Provide support to individuals that may confide in them about occurrences of discrimination or harassment in a non-judgemental and confidential manner;
  • Respect individual differences and encourage others to maintain an inclusive environment that is productive and supports learning;
  • Monitor the Charter Australia operating environment to ensure it is free from material (posters, notice board items, electronic media) that is sexually related, is racist or is likely to offend;
  • Participate in training and awareness sessions that educates employees and students about anti-discrimination and harassment measures; and
  • Respond immediately to claims of inappropriate behaviour and review own behaviour to identify opportunities for improvement.

What can happen if you discriminate or harass?

Incidents of discrimination or harassment that are identified will be handled by applying the principles of natural justice. Criminal or unlawful behaviour will be reported to police authorities immediately and will result in immediate dismissal.

Other behaviour which discriminates against or harasses another person will result in management actions which reflect the seriousness of the individual circumstances.

These may include one or a combination of the following:

  • Retraining (likely to occur in all circumstances);
  • Counselling;
  • Apology;
  • Conciliation / mediation;
  • Demotion; (employee)
  • Transfer; (employee)
  • Suspension with pay; (employee)
  • Suspension without pay;(employee)
  • Warning for dismissal with a probationary period; or (employee)
  • (employee)
  • Suspension (student)
  • Expel (student)

In the case of contractors who discriminate against or harass another person, this will result in a withdrawal of the service contract immediately.

Where to get more information or help

For Charter Australia’s Complaint & Appeals Policy & Procedure to seek help when you think you are discriminated or harassed against.

The following agencies can provide additional information and support services to Charter Australia in maintaining a working environment which is free from discrimination and harassment:

Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission

  • General enquiries: (02) 9284 9600
  • Complaints Info line: 1300 656 419
  • General enquiries and publications: 1300 369 711
  • Website: humanrights.gov.au

New South Wales Anti-Discrimination Board

 

[1] Good practice, good business: Eliminating discrimination and harassment from your workplace: A guide to vicarious liability, page 2, © Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.

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