There may be cases where you know or suspect that one of your workers is using violence or aggression towards another worker or someone outside the workplace.
Examples of how aggressive or violent behaviour may be carried out include:
- emailing, phoning or texting the partner or family member while at work
- using work IT systems to access private information about someone
- acting abusively towards other workers or people at the workplace
- exhibiting agitation or aggression following personal phone calls, and
- making inappropriate jokes or comments about a partner or family member.
These behaviours can be distressing for others in the workplace who may overhear conversations or comments made in their presence, or are concerned for a person’s safety or their own.
Your workplace family and domestic violence policy should set appropriate standards and expected behaviours. The policy should address how the workplace responds to all affected workers, including someone who uses or may use violence and aggression.
Responding quickly to reports of violence or abusive behaviour when they are raised may prevent the situation escalating and reinforce to workers that any kind of violence is treated seriously by your organisation.
If both parties are workers in your organisation, the focus should be on the safety of the worker who is experiencing family or domestic violence. Decisions on responding to the worker who is or may be using violence or aggression need to be made with the full involvement of the worker who is experiencing family or domestic violence to avoid negative impacts.
The confidentiality of all parties involved in a family and domestic violence incident in the workplace must be maintained.
Everyone has the right to feel safe and supported in the workplace. Referral and support services should be offered to all affected workers, including those experiencing family or domestic violence, the person who uses violence and others at the workplace who may be impacted. Resources can be found at the bottom of this page.
Responding to workers who use or may use violence and aggression is complex and needs to be handled appropriately and sensitively. You may wish to seek further advice from your employer organisation or other WHS and employment law professionals.
- Courtesy of Queensland Government: A workplace approach to employees who use or may use violence and abuse