Workplace Bullying is something that each of us may have experienced at some point of time in our industry. It makes you feel incompetent, it's depressing and you feel worthless. No one should ever make you feel negative, especially at your work! Workplace Bullying is a serious risk to the emotional wellbeing and health of educators and it needs to be prevented and dealt with if it does occur. It's unfortunate but it still exists in early childhood settings!
What is Work Place Bullying?
Workplace bullying is repeated and unreasonable behaviour directed towards a co-worker. It can be carried out in a variety of ways including through verbal or physical abuse, emails, sms, internet chat rooms and social media. Workplace bullying includes:
If you feel safe and confident, you can approach the person who is bullying you and tell them that their behaviour is unwanted and not acceptable. They may not realise the effect their behaviour is having on you and your feedback may give them an opportunity to change their behaviour.
If you want to deal with the situation personally:
Workplace bullying should always be reported. If you believe you are experiencing or witnessing workplace bullying, you should report it as early as possible. Your employer cannot address the problem if they do not know about it.
You can make a workplace bullying report verbally or in writing, including by:
If the workplace bullying behaviour has not stopped, you may be able to make a complaint to an external body such as the Fair Work Commission.
How Your Service Should Help
If you inform your service that you are experiencing workplace bullying, or someone has made a report against you, your workplace should:
If your workplace decides that a report should be investigated further, it should inform you of the further investigation process. The investigator should be a suitably skilled, neutral person from within the workplace or an external investigator.
What To Do If You Are Accused Of Workplace Bullying
Being accused of bullying behaviour can be upsetting and come as a shock but it is important to be open to feedback from others, and if necessary, be prepared to change your behaviour. Keep the following points in mind:
If you do not understand the complaint or would like a second opinion about your behaviour, discuss the matter with someone you trust. This might be your manager, or a counsellor engaged through your organisation's employee assistance program. Any discussion should be strictly confidential. It is important not to unintentionally escalate the situation by discussing the issue openly.
If you believe you are being unjustly accused, or the complaint is malicious, you should discuss this with your director or management. It may be that an informal discussion between you, the person making the allegation and a third party will solve the problem.
Adjust Unreasonable Behaviour
If you have been made aware that your behaviour is considered unreasonable, stop or modify the behaviour and review what you are doing.
If, after careful consideration, you believe that your behaviour is reasonable management action, you should discuss this with your supervisor, manager, or a human resources officer. Even in those circumstances, it may be possible to modify future management action to minimise the risk that others might find it unreasonable.
If you are found to have continued to bully someone after their objection to your bullying behaviour was made known to you, your persistence, or the fact that you have not modified your behaviour, is likely to be taken into account in disciplinary or other proceedings.
Where To Go For Help?
If you have not being able to resolve the bullying within your serive, there are a number of agencies and organisations that may be able to offer further advice and assistance. You can contact your Work Health and Safety Regulators In your state/territoty.
You can also contact Fair Work Comission for an order to stop the workplace bullying,they will assist you to identify if you are eligible to apply for an order.
The Fair Work Commission’s anti-bullying jurisdiction is limited to preventing the worker from being bullied at work. The Fair Work Commission cannot issue fines or penalties and cannot award financial compensation. The focus is on resolving the matter and enabling normal working relationships to resume.
The Fair Work Commission will make an order if satisfied the worker has been bullied at work by an individual or a group of individuals and there is a risk the worker will continue to be bullied at work. The Fair Work Commission will take into account:
By Lorina, Aussie Childcare Network 6 December, 2017
When an Educator is not performing their tasks or responsibilities at best practice, these issues need to be addressed for the Educator to understand where they need to improve.
The following article is a guide for Lead Educators/Directors and those in charge of Educators within a setting, to understand underperformance, common performance issues, how to solve them and more.
Underperformance needs to dealt with efficiently by the Lead Educator/Director as it can cause a negative effect on the entire service and become unhealthy and difficult to resolve in the future.
What is Underperformance?
Educators may perform poorly due to the following reasons:
During the time of their underperformance, there may be personal issues or hardships that the Educator may be facing outside of the service that is affecting their work or workplace bullying that has been overlooked. Educators should be given an opportunity to discuss in confidentiality the reasons for their poor performance in a safe environment. It's impotant that Lead Educators/ Directors manage underperformance in an appropriate and sensitive manner in order for a positive outcome and to move forward to create a high-quality environment.
Common Performance Issues
Here is a summary of issues that you may face by Educators and how to manage and improve performance:
The Educator does not undertake work as required, showing signs of apathy and laziness.
The Educator does not appear to understand job requirements or directions.
The Educator will not follow directions or perform tasks as required.
The Educator fails to acknowledge they are underperforming.
The Educator does not complete work tasks to the required standards, policies and procedures.
Lacks the required skills and capabilities.
What to do:
The Educator is cynical about work environment and tasks, bringing negative opinions to the work environment.
The Educator is regularly absent without cause.
Step 1 - Identify The Problem
Specifically, identify the problem - give clear examples.
Step 2 - Assess and analyse the problem
Identify the issue and determine how serious the issue is, how long the issue has existed etc.
Step 3 - Arrange A Meeting Discuss The Issue With the Educator Involved
Have an open and non-intimidating conversation on:
Step 4 - Come Up With A Solution
The Educator and Lead Educator/Director should collaborate and come up with a solution to overcome these issues. Educators who are encouraged to contribute to the solution are more likely to accept it and act upon it.
To come up with a solution together you should:
Once the issues have been resolved and a plan of action has been devised, it's important that the Lead Educator/Director monitor the Educator's performance and provide feedback and encouragement where necessary. Both positive and negative feedback should be given and you should continue to work with the Educator to ensure that their performance improves and the Educator carries our their duties as required.
When an Educator is underperforming it's important that they are given a chance to improve before further action is taken. It is the responsibility of the Lead Educator/Director to ensure that Educators understand what is expected of them and when issues do arise that you explain your concerns with examples. Educators should be given an opportunity to respond to issues of concern before you consider action and work together to resolve all concerns. All Educators within the service should regularly be provided with feedback on their performance so improvements can be made accordingly within the team environment.
Very important for all young families - from education.gov.au as at 1st December, 2017
From 2 July 2018, there will be a New Child Care Package, providing more support for more families.
Child Care Subsidy
The package includes a new Child Care Subsidy, which replaces the current Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate. The Child Care Subsidy will be paid directly to services.
There are also changes to the annual cap which will make child care more affordable for most families.
Three things will determine a family's level of Child Care Subsidy:
The package includes a $1.2 billion Safety Net to give the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children, including those from regional and remote communities, a strong start through access to quality early learning and child care.
The current arrangements don't change until 2 July 2018. More information about what families need to do to prepare for the change will be available in early 2018.
Find out more about child care
Promotional resources for childcare providers
Family Webcast Information Sessions
The Department of Education and Training hosted three Family Webcast Information Sessions to help families learn about the New Child Care Package starting on 2 July 2018.
The free online sessions were held in November 2017 so families could better understand how the Package will impact them and the amount of subsidy they may be eligible to receive.
The presentation from these sessions is available online. A recording of the webcast, as well as the responses to the questions asked, will also be made available online shortly.