Written Answers. - Bullying in the Workplace.

Jan O'Sullivan

Ceist:

83 Ms O'Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if she plans to implement recommendations of the task force on bullying, due to be published in the week ending 8 April 2001. [10533/01]

I launched the report of the task force on the prevention of workplace bullying today, Tuesday 10 April, 2001. This report represents a comprehensive examination of the issue of workplace bullying and provides us with valuable data on the nature, scope and scale of the problem. The report has made a number of recommendations relating to actions which should be undertaken at both State and at enterprise level, to address workplace bullying. The principal recommendations relating to action at State level include the designation of the Health and Safety Authority as the central co-ordinating agency, the introduction of codes of practice on workplace bullying and harassment, under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 1989, the Industrial Relations Act, 1990, and the Employment Equality Act, 1998, and the establishment of an advisory committee on workplace bullying under the auspices of the Health and Safety Authority. The purpose of the codes of practice will be to provide guidance on putting in place policies and procedures at the level of individual enterprises and to provide a reference point for the Health and Safety Authority, the Equality Authority and the Labour Relations Commission, charged with offering advice and assistance. The advisory committee will have a key role in co-ordinating and overseeing the implementation of the recommendations relating to the State's role in responding to workplace bullying, including the three codes of practice. The proposed membership of the advisory committee will include representation from the main State agencies and bodies currently dealing with workplace equality, welfare and labour relations issues in addition to IBEC and ICTU, who were also represented on the task force itself. I have asked all parties to the recommendations to advance the implementation of the recommendations as soon as possible. I also ask individual employers and enterprises to take on board the recommendations in the report which directly concern them, and to put in place, appropriate anti-bullying measures without delay. The continued involvement of, and co-operation from, IBEC and ICTU will greatly assist in this matter.