Australia is considered one of the world’s leading countries in the development of laws and regulations to curb the rapid onset of online abuse and technology-based harm. The Office of the eSafety Commissioner (eSafety) has been established and is moving fast to implement change with social media companies, including creating accountability for online abuse that occurs within their platforms and apps. Our criminal laws are updating slowly to allow prosecution of cyberbullies.
There have been a number of high-profile examples of workplace sexual offences resulting in police investigations being discussed in the news recently. These cases highlight the complexity for HR teams when dealing with allegations of workplace sexual offences that may be a crime and result in police investigations.
Institutional elder abuse is sadly a significant issue in Australia. The recently completed Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, as well as the ongoing Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, have shone the spotlight on the distressing and all too common instances of abuse of vulnerable populations in care.
It is no secret, workplace investigations present an increased risk to mental wellbeing. The number of employees who take sick leave during a workplace investigation is evidence of this fact. Work related stress is responsible for 91% of workers compensation claims involving mental health conditions and workplace investigations are one of the causes.