No matter what industry your business is in, it is important that there is a management structure and managers in place that can make sound decisions for the effective running of your operations.
It is also important that managers conduct themselves in a way that is fair to workers, which is why there is legislation to protect employees from bullying and harassment including the Fair Work Act and the Sex Discrimination Act.
This legislation exists to protect workers, but the term “reasonable management action” is also included in this legislation to protect managers and allow them to make the decisions they need to make without fear of a claim being made against them.
There are going to be difficult situations that need to be addressed in any industry and reasonable management action effectively allows managers to make tough decisions without the threat of action being taken against them by an employee.
Bullying and harassment are clearly not examples of reasonable management action. Actions and decisions that managers can carry out that are considered reasonable include:
It is important to understand the difference between what is reasonable and what is not. Whilst managers are protected from claims made against them when they have displayed reasonable management action, anything that is not reasonable can lead to complaints and claims being against managers and the employer. Examples of these kinds of non-reasonable actions include:
Understanding reasonable management action and ensuring your workforce is trained to understand it as well will ensure you have a happier, cohesive and more productive workforce where claims and workplace investigations are kept to a minimum.
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