Workplace Relations Commission / Health and Safety Authority Code of Practice for Employers and Employees on the Prevention and Resolution of Bullying at Work
3rd February 2021
Minister Damien English, Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail has made an Order under the Industrial Relations Act 1990 and also approved the publication of a new WRC/HSA Code of Practice for Employers and Employees on the Prevention and Resolution of Bullying at Work under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.
This Code of Practice came into effect on 23 December 2020 and from that date it replaces the previous Code of the same name issued by the HSA in March 2007 and the “Code of Practice Detailing Procedures for Addressing Bullying in the Workplace” issued by the Labour Relations Commission in 2002, effectively combining them into a single operational Code.
This revised dual Code, which applies to all employments in Ireland irrespective of whether employees work at a fixed location, at home or are mobile, provides practical guidance on the management of workplace bullying complaints and on the prevention of workplace bullying, in line with the requirements of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. In addition, the Code reflects the WRC’s objective to achieve harmonious working relations between employers and employees through promoting compliance with relevant employment, equality and equal status legislation and codes of practice, early dispute resolution, mediation, conciliation, facilitation and advisory services, and adjudication on complaints and disputes.
In welcoming the Code Minister English said,
“This is a very welcome and important piece of collaborative work from the WRC and HSA. This ‘Code of Practice for Employers and Employees on the Prevention and Resolution of Bullying at Work’, provides a framework for fostering a culture of respect in the workplace. The Code provides practical guidance for organisations regarding the importance of having in place the right measures of anti-bullying policies and procedures, the existence of which will have clear benefits for both employees and the employing organisations.”
The CEO of the Health and Safety Authority, Sharon McGuinness, and the Director General of the Workplace Relations Commission, Liam Kelly also welcomed the Code.
The Director General of the WRC, Liam Kelly commented,
“The two separate Codes have been in existence for almost two decades and this development, where the WRC worked with the HSA and employer and employee representatives to consolidate them into a single publication, will bring further clarity to all workplaces, and, I hope, assist in reducing incidences of workplace bullying and help employers and employees resolve and address them when they do occur.”
Dr. Sharon McGuinness, Chief Executive Officer of the Health and Safety Authority, added,
“We are pleased to partner with the WRC to develop this updated Code of Practice. Employers have a duty to manage and conduct work activities to prevent any improper conduct or behaviour likely to put an employee's safety, health or welfare at risk. This joint Code contains practical guidance on how to prevent and address workplace bullying which will be of significant benefit to employers, employees and their representatives. Workplace bullying is a serious health and safety issue and employers and employees all have a role in promoting a positive workplace free from such behaviours.”
The Code of Practice for Employers and Employees on the Prevention and Resolution of Bullying at Work is available at www.workplacerelations.ie and www.hsa.ie