A test case that established that the Fair Work Commission is able to consider bullying that occurred before its anti-bullying jurisdiction took effect on January 1 has now been thrown out because the employer is not a "trading" corporation.
In its first substantive order under the new bullying jurisdiction, the Fair Work Commission has directed an employee not to have any unaccompanied contact with a co-worker or make comments about their clothes or appearance.
The Fair Work Commission has ruled that it is not prevented from considering behaviour that occurred before the start of the new bullying jurisdiction on January 1 this year when dealing with applications for orders to stop the conduct.
A high proportion of the 66 bullying claims made so far have been against supervisors, and many could be thwarted by the Fair Work Act's "reasonable management action" exemption, according to a Fair Work Commissioner.
A tribunal has found that an employer's failure to formalise an employee's flexible work arrangements to meet her caring responsibilities led to her seeing them as an entitlement rather than a privilege, and any attempts to change them as workplace bullying.