Bullying, harassment and discrimination in the legal workplace
The legal profession both at the local and national level has made it clear that bullying, discrimination and all forms of harassment within the legal profession will not be tolerated. Everyone has the right to work in a safe environment.
The Law Council of Australia has developed and is implementing a National Action Plan to Reduce Sexual Harassment in the Legal Profession. This plan, a copy of which can be found here, is supported by the Law Society Northern Territory (Society).
On 2 December 2021, the Council of the Society approved a Policy Against Sexual Harassment.
In addition, set out below are a number of other resources available to practitioners in this area.
The Law Society of South Australia (LSSA) has produced a number of publications and resources for legal practitioners on these issues which are available on the LSSA website here. The Society is grateful to the LSSA for allowing the sharing of their information.
SUPREME COURT OF THE NORTHERN TERRITORY
NT ANTI-DISCRIMINATION COMMISSION
Tel: (08) 8999 1444 Freecall: 1800 813 846 www.adc.nt.gov.au
The ADC provides information about people’s rights and responsibilities under the Anti-Discrimination Act and accepts/investigates complaints of discrimination. Complaints can also be made if you have been subject to sexual harassment.
ADC education and training
In order to prevent discrimination and harassment in the community, the ADC provides education and training to raise awareness. Education and training can be provided in the Darwin, Katherine and Alice Springs (other locations upon request) and can also be customised to suit your business's needs. For more information please visit: https://adc.nt.gov.au/education-and-training
The role of NT WorkSafe is to assess whether the a person conducting a business or undertaking at the workplace concerned, has appropriate systems in place to manage the risk of exposure to workplace bullying.
SAFE WORK AUSTRALIA
- Workplace sexual harassment – advice for workers
- Preventing workplace sexual harassment – guidance for small business
FAIR WORK COMMISSION
- Anti-bullying guide
- Application for an order to stop workplace bullying
- Anti-bullying benchbook
- General protections benchbook
FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN
Tel: 13 13 94 www.fairwork.gov.au
Provides assistance to employers and employees by monitoring workplace law compliance and investigating breaches of the Fair Work Act.
AUSTRALIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
Tel: 1300 656 419 www.humanrights.gov.au
Investigates and resolves complaints of discrimination and breaches of human rights.
NT WORKING WOMEN’S CENTRE
Freecall: 1800 817 055 www.ntwwc.com.au
The NTWWC provides free and confidential advice to women about work-related matters and also provides workplace training to employees through Work Aware.
LAWCARE: CARING FOR THE LEGAL PROFESSION IN THE NT
The Society funds a professional, confidential and free counselling service for our members and their immediate family, provided through Employee Assistance Service Australia (EASA).
If you are experiencing workplace, personal or emotional issues which are affecting your work or personal life, please call LawCare via the Employee Assistance Program 24 hour support on 1800 193 123, or visit their website www.easa.org.au.
When booking an appointment, please tell the operator you are a Law Society NT member. This service is completely confidential. The Society will only receive statistical information on the numbers accessing the service.
Tel: 1800 737 732 (24 hours) www.1800respect.org.au
1800Respect is the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service that provides support for people experiencing, or at the risk of experiencing, violence and abuse. This service provides support for not only victims, but their families and friends as well.
- Anti-Discrimination Act 1992 (NT)
- Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) Volume 1
- Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) Volume 2
- Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011 (NT)
- Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Regulations 2011 (NT)
- Law Council of Australia Media Statement: Government recognises need for cultural change to sexual harassment laws
- Human Rights Commission: Respect@Work: Sexual Harassment National Inquiry Report (2020)
- Equal Opportunity Commission: 2021 Review of Harassment in the SA Legal Profession
- Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissioner: Sexual Harassment in the Victorian Legal Sector 2019
**The information contained on this page is not a substitute for legal advice and should be used as a guide only.**