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Bullies eye September agenda
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Bullies eye September agenda

THE question of whether legal bullies should face the prospect of being struck from the roll continues to be shuffled back, with the Law Society of New South Wales not due to contemplate the…

THE question of whether legal bullies should face the prospect of being struck from the roll continues to be shuffled back, with the Law Society of New South Wales not due to contemplate the issue until next month.

The September 18 council meeting is the latest date to be put forth as the time at which the society will vote on implementing a range of no-nonsense recommendations to combat growing bullying concerns.

A paper prepared by the Equal Opportunity and Young Lawyers committees containing the action plan was originally to be presented to council in June.

But the Industrial Relations committee stepped in at the last minute to request further consultation.

That process is now understood to have been completed with minimal alterations to the paper’s content. Insiders claim the contentious bullying definition and recommendation for those found guilty to be liable to be banned from practice have emerged unscathed.

Releasing new employment guidelines last week, Law Society of NSW president Robert Benjamin acknowledged evidence of an escalating problem.

“As an adjunct to the employment guidelines, the law society is currently looking at producing a guide to unacceptable workplace behaviour. This is a response to HR concerns in the profession, as well as recent surveys that bullying in the workplace is on the increase,” he said.

“We need to establish what does and doesn’t constitute unacceptable behaviour. For example, fair supervision and the setting of work performance standards are appropriate. Humiliation and intimidation are not.”

The creation of anti-bullying guidelines are believed not to be contained in the joint committee paper and September’s meeting should determine whether that course of action will constitute the entirety of the society’s response.

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