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Westlaw AU - Workplace Complaints Tracker and the #metoo groundswell

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Employment lawyers are reporting substantial increases in the numbers of sexual harassment inquiries in the wake of #metoo, as more people come forward with allegations of sexual harassment and assault.

What does this mean for the workplace?

Employers may need to conduct investigations into alleged misconduct, with potential dismissal from employment of alleged perpetrators. Or they may be faced with general protections actions where an employee claims they have been dismissed or adversely affected because they have made a complaint of harassment. Already many boards are revisiting their workplace conduct policies as a result of #metoo, as recently reported in the Australian Financial Review (Tadros, E, "A Butt Grab is Like a Handshake", Australian Financial Review, 11 May 2018).

Decision-makers managing investigations and disciplinary procedures and seeking to minimise the human and business cost of sexual misconduct in the workplace will value the guidance which Workplace Complaints Tracker provides.

HR professionals, corporate counsel and law firms can leverage the capacity of Workplace Complaints Tracker to see how the Fair Work Commission and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia judge the effectiveness and appropriateness of employer’s responses to misconduct or workplace complaints. Crucially, users can quickly see the likely outcomes and the ultimate bottom line for cases like their own – orders for compensation, costs, interest and penalties. 

With Workplace Complaints Tracker, employers and their advisers can appraise their workplace policies, investigations and disciplinary procedures and inform their risk assessment of the cost when things go awry.

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