NSCA Foundation

Culture of entrenched bullying attracts $116K fine

Friday, 13 September, 2019

Culture of entrenched bullying attracts $116K fine

A Melbourne director and his security company have been fined $116,250 for repeatedly bullying staff in the workplace. John Bernard Moncrieff, who was fined $19,250 and Monjon (Australia), $97,000, pleaded guilty to one charge each of failing to provide a working environment that was, so far as reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health, in Broadmeadows Magistrates Court, according to WorkSafe Victoria. The court heard that WorkSafe Victoria was called to Monjon’s Cheltenham office on 23 October 2015 after Moncrieff pushed an employee along a corridor in front of other workers.

Moncrieff later refused to allow an employee to leave the office until she assured him she would not resign following the first incident. WorkSafe Victoria said their investigation found that Moncrieff led a culture of entrenched bullying at the company between April 2015 and August 2016, with the court hearing that Moncrieff spoke to employees in an aggressive and intimidating manner by raising his voice, swearing and using sexist and racist language to describe his employees. He also made sexually suggestive comments towards employees, threatened to withhold pay and take away their security licences, made inappropriate contact with them and encouraged a culture of managers speaking aggressively to employees.

WorkSafe Victoria Executive Director of Health and Safety Julie Nielsen said there was no excuse for inappropriate sexist, racist or demeaning behaviour in any workplace. “Under no circumstances is it acceptable for managers or directors to abuse their position of power by acting aggressively or inappropriately towards employees,” Nielsen said. “Bullying can have long-term health effects on workers that are every bit as serious as those sustained from physical injuries and WorkSafe will not tolerate behaviour of this nature.”

To prevent workplace bullying, WorkSafe Victoria said employers should: implement and promote workplace bullying policies and procedures, regularly train employees on workplace bullying and inappropriate behaviour, encourage reporting of workplace bullying, address reports as early as possible and provide prompt assistance and support to their employees.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Photographee.eu

NSCA Foundation is a member based, non-profit organisation working together with members to improve workplace health and safety throughout Australia. For more information and membership details click here
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