Complaints about bullying, sexual assault or harassment
WorkSafe takes a systems based approach to the prevention of inappropriate workplace behaviours, such as bullying, harassment (including sexual harassment) and workplace violence/aggression (including sexual assault).
WorkSafe inquiries focus on the systems in place at a workplace to prevent and manage psychosocial hazards. If a breach is identified, WorkSafe may issue the employer an improvement notice requiring systems to be improved, or less commonly may take other enforcement action. WorkSafe is not able to provide financial compensation, legal advice, mediation, review the outcome of a workplace investigation, or require an apology or a disciplinary outcome.
The role of WorkSafe is to ascertain whether duty holders are meeting their obligations under Work Health and Safety legislation. WorkSafe is not able to take action on all workplace behaviour issues reported. Priority will be given to cases where there is a current risk to the wellbeing of workers, and where the hazard has been reported to the employer to give them an opportunity to control the risks. If a worker has left a workplace, or wants to make an anonymous complaint, it is more difficult for WorkSafe to confirm that a current hazard exists. In such cases, WorkSafe may examine the systems in place at the workplace, such as policies, training/information and systems to report and resolve workplace behaviour issues, but this may not impact an individual’s situation. Further information on agencies which may be able to assist or provide case management services is outlined below.
Other agencies that may be able to help
- Fair Work Commission (Commonwealth employers or corporate companies -typically with ‘Ltd’ in the name) or the WA Industrial Relations Commission (state public sector or unincorporated employers).
- Can conciliate or issue a ‘stop bullying’ or ‘stop sexual harassment’ order.
- Equal Opportunity Commission
- For conciliation and investigation of sexual or racial harassment or discrimination
- Circle Green Community Legal
- Provides free legal assistance services to Western Australian workers on workplace issues, including sexual harassment; discrimination; bullying; dismissal and disciplinary action; pay, leave, and employment contracts.
- Sexual assault resource centre
- Provides crisis services to people who have experienced a recent sexual assault (rape) in the last two weeks and counselling for sexual assault / abuse experienced recently or in the past.
- Services are available for people of all sexualities and gender identities aged 13 years and above.
- WA Police
- If you have been assaulted or your security has been threatened.
- For an overview of services in WA that can address sexual harassment, please see the quick reference guide.
The Respect at Work Council
Guidelines on the Use of Confidentiality clauses in the resolution of workplace sexual harassment complaints provides principles to guide the consideration of the use of a confidentiality clause in a settlement agreement concerning a workplace sexual harassment claim.
Lodge a complaint
To lodge a complaint with WorkSafe in relation to workplace behaviours, please contact WorkSafe:
- Call 1300 307 877 (during business hours)
- Call 1800 678 198 (outside business hours – where urgent) or
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org or
- submit your complaint online