The paper "Good Practice, Good Business by Australian Human Rights Commission" is a great example of an article on business. Providing a complementary environment to the employees is the key to triumph for any business. However, there are some businesses and organizations that tend to discriminate and harass some of its employees in various ways, such as treating others with less privilege, race, religion, age, disability, pregnancy, or marital status discrimination, among others. Each and every employee plays a vital role in the working place, therefore they should all be given an equal privilege without being discriminated against or harassed.
This paper will critically analyze the article “ Good practice, good business” written by the Australian Human Rights Commission. Extract and clearly express the central message separating the primary content from the supporting/corroborating detail. The central message in this article is discrimination and harassment in the workplace, which is the primary content while the supporting detail is the elimination of such behaviors. Unlawful discrimination occurs when a person is treated by another person less adequately because of their attributes such as color, race, sex, nationality, trade union activity, religion among others.
This unlawful discrimination in the workplace occurs whereby the staff is discriminated in terms of recruitment of new staff, part of employment benefits, transfers, retrenchment or dismissal and, promotions. It is against the law for an employer to discriminate against a worker or to fail to employ a certain prospective employee. These employees who include full time, part-time, probationary, casual trainees, and apprentices should be treated equally with respect and appreciation. On the other hand, unlawful harassment which is also a major problem in workplaces occurs when workers are insulted, intimidated, or humiliated on the basis of their color, race, sex, ethnic origin among others.
Harassment occurs in situations such as when pornographic posters are displayed on walls, sending sexually indicative emails, telling insulting jokes of a certain ethnic group, intruding on a person’ s personal life, and offensive remarks of a person’ s religion or race. Harassment and discrimination behaviors can be serious or mild and in certain situations, the continued performance of these behaviors can result in low morale, and therefore poor staff performance.
The article also talks of hostile working environments, and employers are urged to ensure that the working environment is satisfactory for every staff member. Another form of unethical behavior discussed in this article is bullying which occurs when an individual is treated less favorably by his counterpart or top officials such as the managers and supervisors and as a result, the staff feels humiliated, intimidated, and degraded. Bullying behaviors comprise of abuse, yelling or screaming at someone, psychological harassment, intimidation, allocation of impossible jobs to workers, isolation of employees, and change of duty schedule which is meant to inconvenience certain workers. Adverse actions which are practiced by certain employers are also unethical in the workplace.
These include threatening actions or such actions as employee dismissal, discrimination between employees, injuring employees, and refusing to hire a prospective employee amid other behaviors. The commonwealth and state territory governments put forward certain anti-discrimination laws meant to protect workers from such intimidation and harassment from the workplace. Some of these laws include the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986, the Age Discrimination Act 2004, the Racial Discrimination Act 1975, the Sex Discrimination Act 1984, and the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.
The Australian Human Rights Commission protects discrimination in employments through breaches of Human Rights by commonwealth bodies in terms of color, race, sex, political opinion, religion, age, marital status, nationality, trade unions among others. Decisions of a complaint are made through assessment and investigations and in case of failure of conciliation, the matter moves on to the parliament. All these Acts see to it that every individual has equal rights of access to employment, education, trade unions among others despite of one's color, sex, race, age, and marital status and they also ensure that discrimination and harassment are eliminated in all areas.
Persons who undergo such circumstances should file complaints in writing to the respective body and necessary actions are enacted. The fair work Ombudsman is another body that assists individuals who are subject to discrimination and harassment. The body carries out investigations on claims of unlawful workplace discrimination and can set off legal action accordingly. The Fair Work Ombudsman assists employers, employees, and the community by offering them with education, information, and guidance, and carries out investigations on workplace complaints, and enforces pertinent commonwealth workplace acts.
The Fair Work Act of 2009 contains penalties and remedies for unfavorable actions on discriminatory grounds. For unlawful discrimination, the maximum penalty is $33,000 for a corporation and $6,600 for an individual. The courts can also make such orders as compensations, injunctions or reinstatement. Summary suitable as a background document in a hypothetical business context In most businesses, companies, and organizations, there exists unlawful discrimination and unlawful harassment in one way or another.
Persons are discriminated in terms of color, race, ethnic background, and nationality. Such behaviors can be seen as existing between one employee and another or between employers and the workers. For instance, in the Xyz Company (hypothetical business context), which has employees ranging from fulltime, part-time, casuals and trainees, and who are from various ethnic and national backgrounds, the top management and the employers are found to discriminate these workers unlawfully. This discrimination occurs in such attributes as national and ethnic origin, color, race, sexual preference, religion, marital status, and sex.
The employers and top management extend this discrimination in areas such as during recruitment and selection of staff members, during transfers, promotions, dismissals, and retrenchment, when select staffs to be trained and the kind of training to be offered, when deciding the conditions, terms, and rewards to be offered as part of the employment. The employees in this company also suffer from unlawful harassment whereby they are insulted, humiliated, and intimidated because of their natural attributes such as nationality and ethnicity, sex, color, race, disability, and they are found to be working under intimidating conditions.
Such actions that comprise harassment include: some people engage in insulting jokes about a particular racial or ethnic group, others intrude in one's private life, insulting comments about other races and religions are also common, and forwarding of sexually evocative emails to certain employees in the company. A hostile working environment is another unethical issue affecting this company whereby employers are not alert of their duties of providing a working environment that is free from racial and sexual hostility. In the Xyz Company, offensive jokes and crude conversations among certain employees and employers are not an issue, and its part of their accepted culture though it seems to affect other employees.
Employees file complaints about these effects to the top management but no serious measures are taken. Managers and supervisors of Xyz Company provide advice to employees and comments (both positive and negative) on their performance and this is meant to motivate them so as they can do better in the future but is not a form of harassment or discrimination. Bullying of workers also exists in Xyz Company and employees are treated by others less favorably and this is termed to be inappropriate and unreasonable in a working environment.
Bullying consists of actions that will make an employee feel intimidated, humiliated, and offended. Such persons who practice these behaviors are the top managers and supervisors who have the skills, status, and position in the company and tend to bully those workers such as casuals, trainees, and others below their level. Some of the bullying actions used in this company include physical or vocal abuse, screaming, yelling and use of offensive language to the employees, intimidation, isolation of employees, allocating impossible jobs or medial jobs to employees, change of work schedule which is meant to inconvenience certain employees, stealing of ideas and undermining employees work performance.
As a result of the unlawful discrimination and harassment, there arise poor relationship between the employees and the managers, there is no sharing of ideas, and employees are demotivated and as a result, there is poor performance and the overall production of the company is affected. Recommendation based on the summary. In order to improve the XYZ company and ensure efficient employee performance, there is a need to improve employer-employee relationships that will ensure that, workers are treated accordingly, with kindness and respect, and motivated with respect to their performance. The company needs to form association internally that will investigate workplace complaints and ensure that employee complaints are heard and attended to and actions taken to those found guilty.
Though some opponents argue that internal investigations are be-handled, thus worsening the problem and that there lacks confidentiality I suggest that they are efficient as long as there is well-trained personnel. The company should also engage in educating, offering advice and information to employers, employees, and the community in general on understanding and complying with the human rights acts.
Workers need to be enlightened on the existence of statutory Acts such as age discrimination acts, sex discrimination acts, racial discrimination acts, and disability discrimination acts among others which deal with complaints in such areas as employment, access to education, and other services. These bodies assess, investigate, and take the necessary measures so as to ensure that employees’ rights are protected.
Through the provision of such a kind environment, equal privileges without discriminating and harassing the employee, and other motivations the company’ s performance will tend upwards.
ReferencesAustralian Human Rights Commission. Good Practice, Good Business.