|Comcare gives the bully an estimate of his fine.|
Imagine this hypothetical scenario; A bully at CIT has a 20 year history of bullying. In fact, it is an 'open secret'. People have been known to joke; "If you haven't been bullied by XY then you haven't lived at CIT".
In the past, for reasons unfathomable, any complaint about this person were made 'go away' by CIT. People wonder about friends in high places.
After many years the Workplace Commissioner comes along and says the bullying has to stop. He serves a notice on CIT. The current CIT CEO tacks it to the back of his door and there it stays.
People jump up and down about the inaction and complaints increase. The ACT Government realise they have to do something. Another Commissioner is appointed this time, the Public Administrator Andrew Kefford.
Two years and around 14 official complaints later just against this (hypothetical) person (still others against other bullies), this individual still works at CIT. In fact, they laugh and joke about it saying "Ha, they haven't got me yet".
A victim of this person pursues a case through the court after being denied compensation by Comcare for psychological damage done. There are other people who have made compo claims in regard to bullying by this person. OK, if the victim gets his money what happens to the bully up to now?
The answer to that is NOTHING.
The bully can just leave CIT and avoid the so-called investigation by CIT. Will the Commissioner follow him up? No, of course not, that is not within the Commissioners power either.
So, the bully turns 55 in 2014 and after 20 years has a load of super. He just takes his money and runs, and the TAX PAYER cover ALL of the costs of Comcare fighting the case in court between the victim and the bully. If the bully loses then Comcare just pay the victim with tax payer money and what happens to the bully?
NOTHING ... the workplace has protected the bully for years and now the state also allows him to walk away laughing. Noel Towell wrote about these costs to the taxpayer in an article titled;
Taxpayers left with $100m Comcare compo bill
So is this still/will this still be the case in 2014? Shouldn't the negligent employer and the bully have to pay a fine to recover some of the tax payer money? YOU BET THEY SHOULD.
A later article by Noel Towel of The Canberra Times;
Bullying warning for PS managershttp://www.smh.com.au/national/public-service/bullying-warning-for-ps-managers-20130926-2uhaz.html
States the following:
"Comcare regional director Mina Podbereski told the bullying seminar that managers could be fined individually $100,000 for a "category one" offence and up to $600,000 for the most serious "category three" breach of the Work Health and Safety Act, which might cover the suicide of a bullied worker.
Well, isn't that about time?
We are hoping that this will be the outcome for the hypothetical CIT bully above. Rather than continuing to hide behind the skirts of CIT and Comcare and by default YOU the taxpayer, this person will have to pay for their bullying out of their OWN POCKET! That will be justice indeed.