Good practice guidelines for internal complaint processes
Addressing employee complaints about discrimination and harassment quickly and fairly is good for business because it can:
- identify ways to improve workplace practices and policies
- improve staff morale, productivity and retention
- help avoid complaints to external agencies and/or legal action.
Under federal anti-discrimination laws, if an employer wants to argue that the organisation should not be held liable for any discrimination or harassment by one of its employees, the employer will need to demonstrate that the organisation took ‘reasonable precautions and exercised due diligence’ or took ‘all reasonable steps’ to prevent the discrimination or harassment. While the size of the employer is relevant to these considerations, an important factor that is likely to be considered is whether the organisation has an effective complaint handling procedure.