HITsa Training and Employment – Policy and Procedure
Equal Opportunity, Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying
The management of HITsa Training and Employment has a firm commitment to ensuring our training facilities are free from discrimination, harassment and bullying and that suitable equal opportunity principles are in place.
HITsa Training and Employment staff and sites
Equal opportunity is concerned with people being given a fair go when they are at work/training and when they are looking for work/training.
It includes treating people as individuals with different skills and abilities, without making judgements based on stereotypes, or on characteristics (such as sex, age, race, sexuality, disability, pregnancy or marital status) that are irrelevant to a person’s capacity.
Ensuring an environment that allows all to achieve their full potential, and that is free from all forms of discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment.
Equal opportunity works on the merit principle, so that the person who best meets the criteria is the one selected. Equal opportunity is thus a matter of management ‘best practice’.
Equal opportunity laws also allow special initiatives designed to overcome the results of long-term discrimination suffered by certain groups.
Unlawful discrimination means treating someone differently and less favourably because of one of the grounds spelled out in law. In South Australia, these grounds include sex, sexuality, marital status, pregnancy, race, disability or age.
Discrimination need not be DIRECT, or open. It can also be INDIRECT, and harder to detect because it is built into the structure of an organisation, or into policies or practices or just “the way things are done”. INDIRECT DISCRIMINATION happens when there is a requirement that at first sight seems to treat everyone equally, but which in fact has an unfavourable effect on a certain group of people.
Sexual harassment covers many forms of unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature or having sexual connotations.
The key word is unwelcome. If any of the above behaviours are unwelcome, and it is reasonable for the person to whom it is directed to feel offended, humiliated or intimidated, then it is sexual harassment – regardless of the intentions of the person enacting the behaviour.
Sexual harassment can also include the general climate of an environment. A poor environment atmosphere can create an uneasy, intimidating, hostile atmosphere. This can have a bad effect on health, performance, satisfaction and productivity.
Sexual harassment is often an assertion of power – even hostility – expressed in a sexual way. The victim of sexual harassment is often not in a position to demand that the behaviour stop.
Humour, friendship and relationships based on mutual consent are not sexual harassment. Consent is something actively given, as opposed to “just going along with it” because one is too uncomfortable, embarrassed or scared to object openly.
Workplace harassment is defined as any form of behaviour (including comments, jokes, and innuendo) which is unwelcome and causes a person to feel offended, humiliated or intimidated and that it is reasonable for the person to whom it is directed to feel this way. Where the behaviour is related to one of the grounds listed above (i.e. sex, race, sexuality, age, marital status, and pregnancy, physical or intellectual impairment), it is also unlawful.
Workplace bullying usually involves the persistent ill treatment of an individual by one or more other persons. It need not involve physical ill treatment and most cases of bullying involve such treatment as verbal abuse, ‘nit-picking’, threats, sarcasm, ostracism, or sabotage of a person’s work. It is important to note that where the harassment/bullying does not relate to grounds covered by equal opportunity legislation, it still constitutes a serious problem and can be considered as a breach of the Work Health and Safety Act and the Return to Work Act or other criminal laws relating to assault, threatening behaviour, etc.
STATEMENT OF COMMITMENT
The management of HITsa has a commitment to equal opportunity principles and will ensure that no discriminatory policies or practices or procedures exist in any aspect of training and employment. In addition, harassment of any type will not be tolerated.
The Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (SA) makes unlawful discrimination on the grounds of:
- Age (people of all ages)
- Sex (whether a person is female, male or transgender)
- Race (includes colour, descent, ethnic origin, religion or nationality)
- Physical Disability / Intellectual Impairment
- Sexuality (includes heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or transgender)
- Marital Status (refers to whether a person is single, married, divorced, separated, widowed, or living in a de facto relationship with a person of the opposite sex)
- Pregnancy (now or in the future)
Discrimination on any grounds is unlawful and this includes
- recruiting and selecting students, trainers and employees
- policies, practices and procedures (including unwritten ones)
- terms and conditions of courses and employment
- training, promotion and transfer and termination
All types of students, trainers and employees are covered. This includes:
- applicants for positions and courses
- current employees and students, whether full time, part time or casual
- volunteers and unpaid workers/students
- agents remunerated by commission and contract workers
Victimisation is also unlawful. Victimisation means treating someone unfairly because they have acted on the rights given them by equal opportunity law, or because they have supported someone else who acted upon those rights.
RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The Act gives rights and responsibilities to employees and students and trainers and employers which include
- the right for decisions about who should be offered a position to be made on merit
- the right not to be sexually harassed by others
- the right to be protected by HITsa from sexual harassment
- the right to work/train in an environment free of discrimination and harassment
- the responsibility not to discriminate against, or harass, others
- the responsibility not to sexually harass others
- the right not to be sexually harassed by the providers of said services
Employers (and managers and supervisors) and trainers have:
- the responsibility to ensure that the workplace/classroom and the services provided are free of discrimination and harassment; all parties have a legal responsibility to make sure that this happens
- the responsibility to ensure that the workplace/classroom is free of sexual harassment, and that people are not sexually harassed while being provided with goods or services
- a legal responsibility to take all reasonable steps to make sure this happens
WHAT THIS MEANS IN PRACTICE
A member of senior management will accept day-to-day responsibility for implementing this policy. The person with this responsibility is the Executive Officer.
- trainers have a direct responsibility to make sure that all employees and students know about this policy and adhere to it
- employees and students will know about this policy through the induction process
COMPLAINTS OF DISCRIMINATION OR HARASSMENT
Directors of HITsa Industry Training have ultimate responsibility for Equal Employment Opportunity. Any complaints about breaches of this policy will be dealt with seriously, confidentially and quickly. The people to contact in the first instance are;
Adrian Saturno – Director (0418834121)
Leon Saturno – Director (0407716638)
Olivia Muller – Executive Officer (0439861114)
The decision about what further action to take (if any) lies with the person who has made the complaint. If further assistance is required, this is available from the contacts listed above.
You may also approach your union for assistance.
In addition, any person has the right at any time to contact the Equal Opportunity Commission for information or advice, or to lodge a complaint of discrimination.
SA – Contact details can be found on the website https://eoc.sa.gov.au/contact
NT – Contact details can be found on the website http://www.adc.nt.gov.au/contacts.html
The Directors of HITsa accepts that the absence of discrimination and harassment leads to a more stable, more contented and therefore more productive environment, in which people are treated fairly.