How to get past a work dispute

Posted on December 20, 2016 in Bullying in the News by editor

After Fair Work returned  a decision ordering Bendigo Health to reinstate an aged care nurse who was sacked for kissing a patient on the forehead, Sheila Freeman was interviewed by journalist Mark Kearney from the Bendigo Advertiser on how can an employee return to work following a dispute:

Bendigo Advertiser:  Saturday December 17 2016

Workplace conflicts can be difficult to overcome and require communication and training, a Bendigo expert has said.

Goldfields Mediation and relationships Centre’s Sheila Freeman said it was not unusual for employees to clash at work, explaining the process could prove costly to both the organisation and the workers involved.

she recommended counselling for the affected parties, or even mediation, as ways to mend the damage done.  “That could be between they hierarchy and the worker, but also, depending on how their co-workers are feeling, they may need some sort of mediation to transition back into it,” Ms Freeman said. “They may need a couple of sessions if there’s some sore of apprehension.  It’s a way of getting people talking again, talking about what happened and how they can move forward.  That process was best conducted by someone independent from outside of the organisation, meaning every party could feel confident no bias was involved, she said.  The counsellor believed training played an important role in the prevention of similar conflicts emerging, saying annual “refreshers” of topics including worker-client boundaries and sexual harassment should be standard practice in all workplaces.  It meant employees stayed abreast of the latest regulations that applied to them at work” Ms. Freeman said.

But it was goodwill from all parties she thought was the most help to someone transitioning back to work.

by Mark Kearney Bendigo Advertiser Saturday 17th December 2016.