This may be one of the most important Q+As you will answer…
Q: Are you taking all reasonable steps to eliminate the harm caused by discrimination?
If the ‘A’ is no, you may be at risk – of breaching the law and losing your talent.
The recent news of Stan Grant stepping down from ABC’s Q+A, in part as a result of lack of support from ABC management amid racist attacks on him, highlights the importance of ensuring your organisation is taking all reasonable steps to eliminate the harm caused by discrimination.
In his statement, which identified racist media attacks as his reason for stepping back from the role, Stan Grant informed viewers that he considered that there was “institutional failure” at the ABC. His reference was to his view that the organisation did not publicly defend him from racist abuse following his participation on a panel for the coronation of King Charles.
Taking a clear and unequivocal stand on preventing racism in the workplace is an obligation held by all organisations under both work health and safety and anti-discrimination laws.
Leadership on these obligations is critical. Officers of an organisation have an obligation to exercise due diligence, which will include:
- clearly expressing the commitment of the business and leaders to prevent discrimination;
- ensuring that a responsive and clear policy is in place that defines discrimination and provides clear examples;
- ensuring that there is an environment created where workers feel empowered to report all incidents of discrimination, including a confidential complaints process;
- ensuring that all complainants are supported and importantly are not victimised for making a complaint;
- investigating complaints sensitively and promptly, and ensuring that appropriate disciplinary action is taken; and
- ensuring that internal and external support services are available to those who have suffered discrimination, including counselling or an employee assistance program.
Ensure you take these steps – and don’t allow your organisation’s workers to suffer the fate of Stan Grant.
From the experts behind the Health & Safety Handbook, the Bulletin brings you the latest work health and safety news, legal updates, case law and practical advice straight to your inbox every week.