So, Baa Baa Sheep has been shaved of his black coat and in its place grown a rainbow one for fear of being labelled a racist. Children have been banned from undertaking handstands in schools by the safety/fun police. Now I read that potential new bullying laws may enable workers to claim compensation for being left idle. Is this really a serious matter, or just another case of things simply going too far?
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t condone bullying in any shape or form whatsoever. It is completely unacceptable and completely unnecessary behaviour. Certainly for those who have been subject to the wrath of a bully (myself included), there is no doubt that it can be a soul destroying and self esteem crushing experience.
However, as reported in News.Com.au yesterday, potential new workplace bullying laws may soon mean that employees find themselves more empowered. Empowered that is to scream ‘bullied’ and claim compensation in situations which have up until now, been considered the ‘norm’.
The draft code is presently awaiting decision, pending the outcome of a parliamentary enquiry into bullying. However, already the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has stated that it has “all the worst elements of the nanny state”, and I am inclined to agree. Surely this kind of potential new law shows us to be somewhat a nation of victims doesn’t it? A nation who is simply learning all too quickly to throw their hands up in despair when things just simply get too hard!
I personally hung up my corporate attire in exchange for my Mum uniform two years ago. However, I do feel that some of the ‘issues’ being considered as falling under the bullying umbrella, are really quite ridiculous.
Take for example the fact that if this new law is passed in employees will have the right to claim compensation from their employers for being left idle. Well, let me tell you now, if they had brought this ruling in a few years ago I could have made millions! In fact, I would never even have had to think about working again! I really cannot even begin to tell you how many jobs I have worked in where there really was nothing for me to do. And when I say nothing…..I mean, nothing. Absolutely and completely nothing. Nada.. zip!
My days would consist of shooting out the odd email, sharing some office gossip over the water cooler or surfing the internet for hours on end – ironically enough, usually looking for other jobs! Whilst to some this may sound like a dream job, there was many a time when I thought I might just gnaw my own arm off in boredom. Not to mention the fact that the minutes of the day felt like hours and the hours felt like days. So you know what I did? I resigned from those jobs! That’s right, I purely and simply left!
As for the employee who may potentially fall into a heap on the floor under the stress of changing deadlines. Well, seriously, is this not life? Don’t priorities and deadlines change on a day to day basis? And if you aren’t capable of meeting that expectation (and of course I am again talking within reason here), should you even have applied for, or be in that role in the first instance?
If this ruling does get approved, I think the real victims in all of this are actually going to end up being the employers and sadly small business. Employers who seem to be caught in something of a catch 22 situation. Employers who simply can’t seem to do right for doing wrong. Give an employee too much work and they may just crumble. Yet, take it all away and they may scream ‘bored’ and slap you with a compensation claim!
Of course, every situation and every individual is unique. That I understand. However, if this ruling is passed by the Government, another part of me does wonder what will be next?