Respectful and inclusive workplaces
Building and maintaining a healthy, respectful workplace is good for your business, and good for your employees.
Some forms of discrimination, bullying and harassment can be criminal offences, and you have a legal responsibility to prevent harm.
Building a respectful workplace
All employees should be treated fairly and with respect. Everyone has a role to protect respect at work.
Examples of unfair treatment include, but is not limited to:
- behaviour that is offensive, intimidating, humiliating or threatening
- ridicule, like name calling or sexist or racist jokes
- physical or emotional intimidation, such as threatening or offensive slogans or pictures
- discrimination based on a person's attributes, such as gender, religion, race, age, sexual orientation or disability.
If your employee feels they are being bullied, harassed or treated unfairly in any way, call it out and act.
The following government organisations have resources available to assist in preparing and dealing with these events in your workplace:
- The Queensland Human Rights Commission has 6 easy steps to prevent workplace issues and provides toolkits, handbooks and sample policies to empower employers.
- The Fair Work Commission provides help to employees and employers experiencing bullying, harassment and discrimination in the workplace.
- WorkSafe Queensland's hazard search tool provides information on the risks of a searched hazard (e.g. bullying, sexual harassment) and how to manage the hazard.
- Safe Work Australia has developed guides, infographics and fact sheets for employers on various topics including bullying, sexual harassment and other psychosocial hazards.
Find tips on managing conflict in the workplace.
Meeting your obligations
Employers who fail to call out and respond to acts of unfair treatment in their workplace may be legally liable for not taking action. Taking action may include:
- ensuring an active and accountable leadership team
- providing training and sharing knowledge about inappropriate behaviours with your staff
- adopting workplace processes that prevent unfair treatment in the workplace.
Read about how to take action for:
- sexual harassment (Respect@Work)
- complaints of discrimination or harassment (Australian Human Rights Commission)
- bullying (WorkSafe Queensland).
Building a supportive workplace
Supportive workplaces can be good for business, promoting high levels of productivity where all employees can thrive.
Learn more about:
- building high-performing and positive workplaces, including staff satisfaction and retention, HR policies and procedures and staff performance
- achieving gender equality, and attracting new and diverse talent
- embracing diversity and inclusion in your workplace.
- Last reviewed: 1 Mar 2023
- Last updated: 1 Mar 2023