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Harassment & Bullying Policy

Sunripe is committed to providing a work environment that is conducive to good workplace relations where employees are not subjected to any unwanted workplace harassment, bullying or occupational violence.

Sunripe recognises that workplace harassment or bullying may involve comments and behaviours that offend some people and not others and that individuals may react differently to comments and behaviour. That is why a minimum standard of behaviour is required of employees and contractors of Sunripe. This standard is, as far as is possible, to be respectful of all workers.

This standard extends to all methods of communication that can be used to harass or bully including text messaging, telephone, email, voicemail, face to face interactions and social media platforms.

Workplace Harassment:

The most common form of workplace harassment is sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is behaviour of a sexual nature that is unwelcome and has the effect of offending, intimidating, or humiliating the person being harassed.

Workplace harassment can also be based on other grounds including race, disability, age, pregnancy, marital status, sexuality, gender, or medical status.

Examples of unlawful harassment include:

  • suggestive comments about a person’s body or appearance
  • leering or staring at a person or parts of their body
  • persistent, unwelcome proposals
  • gender based insults or taunting
  • sexist or racist jokes
  • homophobic abuse
  • verbal or written abuse
  • touching a person in a sexual way
  • sexual assault
  • asking questions about a person’s sex life or tales of sexual performance, and
  • making jokes at the expense of a person with a disability.


This is not an exhaustive list.

Workplace harassment usually consists of a pattern of unwelcome behaviour. However, it can also consist of a sole act of a serious harassing nature. In some instances, the harassment might take place outside the workplace, for example, at a work-related social function, or when an employee makes unwelcome phone calls to another employee at their home or follows them home from work. Harassment may also occur at another workplace when an employee is representing Sunripe.

Workplace Bullying:

Bullying is considered to be repeated, unreasonable behaviour directed toward an employee, or group of employees, that creates a risk to health and safety.

It includes:

  • threatening to assault someone
  • verbal abuse
  • excluding or isolating workers
  • psychological harassment
  • assigning meaningless tasks unrelated to the job
  • giving workers impossible assignments
  • deliberately changing work rosters to inconvenience particular workers, and
  • deliberately withholding information that is vital for effective work performance.


Workplace bullying includes indirect bullying.

Indirect bullying is harder to recognise as it’s often carried out behind an employee’s back and is designed to harm their reputation or to cause humiliation, e.g., lying, spreading rumours, playing nasty jokes, teasing, name calling, insults, mimicking and encouraging others to socially exclude the victim.

Allegations for both direct and indirect bullying can be equally as damaging and will be dealt with under this policy.

Reasonable Management Action

Reasonable management action itself will not constitute workplace bullying.  Reasonable management action includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • setting reasonable performance standards, goals, and deadlines
  • allocating working hours where requirements are reasonable
  • transferring or terminating an employee for operational reasons
  • deciding not to promote an employee in circumstances where a reasonable process is followed and documented
  • discussing an employee’s inappropriate behaviour in an objective and confidential manner
  • discussing an employee’s unsatisfactory performance; and
  • implementing organisational change or restructuring.


Occupational Violence:

Occupational violence is considered to be any incident where a person is physically attacked or threatened in the workplace, whether by a co-worker, subcontractor, or customer.

It includes:

  • striking, kicking, scratching, biting, spitting or any other type of direct physical contact
  • throwing objects
  • attacking with knives, guns, or any other type of weapon
  • pushing, shoving, tripping, grabbing, and
  • any form of indecent physical contact.


Bullying and occupational violence will not be tolerated by SUNRIPE.

Steps When Suffering Harassment or Bullying:

If an employee believes they are being harassed or bullied, there are several important steps to take:

  • Tell the person that their behaviour is unacceptable, and that it must stop. It is important to say these things to the harasser otherwise they may interpret silence as consent. If it would feel too uncomfortable saying these things to the harasser, this will not mean that the employee does not have a valid claim.
  • Report the behaviour or incident to their manager or HR Manager in accordance with Sunripe’s Grievance Handling Policy, and
  • In the interests of avoiding gossip, potential defamation proceedings against them or Sunripe and a fair investigation, please maintain confidentiality with regards to the complaint.


Actions Taken:

Sunripe has a legal responsibility to take reasonable steps to prevent harassment, bullying and violence from happening in the workplace. This involves educating employees about harassment, bullying and violence, putting in place this policy, implementing grievance procedures and ensuring compliance by all in the workforce.

If the employee makes a complaint of workplace harassment or bullying it will be taken very seriously and will be dealt with sympathetically and in a confidential manner.

The complaint will be investigated and, if found to be proved, appropriate warnings or other disciplinary action will be taken against the harasser. In serious cases the harasser may be dismissed.

The complainant will not be victimized or treated unfairly for making a complaint.

If the complainant is not satisfied with the way in which Sunripe has dealt with the complaint, the employee can seek further advice from an outside agency such as the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Managers’ Role

Managers have an important role in the prevention of workplace harassment, bullying and violence. Managers must ensure that they do not harass or bully employees, other managers or supervisors, clients, or customers.

When managers observe discrimination, harassment, bullying or violence, they should take steps to stop it and warn the person of the consequences if the behaviour continues.

If a person approaches them with a complaint about harassment or bullying, they should take appropriate steps to resolve it.

Employees’ Role

Each employee must ensure that they do not engage in harassing, bullying or violent behaviour towards other employees, managers or supervisors and clients.

Employees should be aware that they can be held legally responsible for their unlawful acts. Employees who aid or encourage other persons to harass, bully or be violent can also be held legally liable.

Blatant disregard of these guidelines may give rise to disciplinary action, and in serious cases, dismissal will be considered.