Dáil Éireann - Volume 638 - 26 September, 2007
Written Answers. - Bullying in the Workplace.
Deputy Joe Costello Deputy Joe Costello
Deputy Joe Costello asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the regulations in place to counteract bullying in the workplace; and the number of cases of bullying that have been dealt with by his Department. [19922/07]
Deputy Billy Kelleher Deputy Billy Kelleher
Deputy Billy Kelleher:A revised Code of Practice, under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, for employers and employees on the Prevention and Resolution of Workplace Bullying, was published in April 2007. It replaces and updates the previous Code in operation since 2002 and it provides practical guidance for employers on identifying and preventing bullying at work arising from their duties under the 2005  Act as regards managing and conducting work activities in such a way so as to prevent, as far as is reasonably practicable, any improper conduct or behaviour likely to put the safety, health and welfare at work of their employees at risk.
The 2005 Act also applies to employees in relation to their duties not to engage in improper conduct or behaviour likely to endanger their own safety, health and welfare at work or that of any other person.
The Code emphasises that the best place to deal with a complaint of bullying is at the level of the workplace. A significant element of the Code places an emphasis on the resolution of incidents of bullying using an informal process and professional mediation services. Only if internal processes fail, should it be necessary to get outside support. In that event, the Code states that an appeal should be referred to the Rights Commissioner Service of the Labour Relations Commission under the Industrial Relations Acts. If the decision of the Rights Commissioner is not acceptable, an appeal may be made to the Labour Court.
It should also be noted that a Code of Practice under the 2005 Act may be admissible in evidence before a Court where it is alleged that the Code had been contravened or not complied with. Statistics on the number of bullying cases dealt with will be available directly from the Health and Safety Authority, the Rights Commissioner Service and the Labour Court.
Dáil Éireann 638 Written Answers. Bullying in the Workplace.