ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY FOR VIOLENCE, AGGRESSION, ABUSE, HARASSMENT AND THREATENING BEHAVIOURS POLICY
Last amended: May 2022
- We need your help to make our workplace a safe place for everyone.
- Sometimes you might not be happy with us. At Spectrum Speech Pathology, we do our best to help people. But we are not perfect. Sometimes, you, or someone else, might not be happy with us. For example, you might not be happy with some of our supports and services.
- You have a right to complain. You have the right to make complaints about our supports and services at any time. If you want to make a complaint, we want to help you to make it quickly and easily, and without stress. Our Complaints Policy explains how to make a complaint easily and without stress.
- You are not allowed to hurt or abuse our staff for any reason. No one is allowed to be violent, aggressive, abusive, harassing or threatening to our staff or visitors for any reason – even if they are really upset or stressed out, or if we have done something wrong. Our staff include our owners, managers, employees, contractors, volunteers, and students. Visitors include anyone else at our workplace who are not staff and include other clients and their family members, carers and supporters.
- We must all follow the law. It is never OK for anyone to hurt or abuse our staff or visitors. Hurting or abusing someone is against the law. The law also says that providers like us must work hard to keep our staff safe from harm. This includes making sure that our staff do not get hurt or abused by anyone at work.
- This policy applies to everyone. This policy is written for you because you are our client. But it applies to everyone who is receiving support or services from us. It also applies to family members, carers and any other people who come with you or other clients. In fact, it applies to everyone who comes to our workplace for any reason.
- This policy forms an important part of our system for managing workplace safety risks.
What behaviours are not OK
Violence is any behaviour that hurts, injures, or kills people. Violence is never OK.
Aggression is violent or attacking behaviour, and often involves anger. Aggression towards staff or visitors is never OK.
Abuse is extremely rude and insulting things that people say to others, especially when they are angry. Abuse of staff or visitors is never OK.
Threatening behaviour is any behaviour that our staff or others might think reasonably is going to result in them getting hurt or harmed, or otherwise affect the safety of someone else. It can include things you say or things you do with your body, or both. It is never OK to threaten staff or visitors.
Communication that is not respectful or that is inappropriate, including unwelcome comments, and comments, questions or jokes of a sexual or intrusive nature, and makes the person feel uncomfortable. This includes visual, verbal or gestural communication.
Putting up with these behaviours is NOT part of anyone’s job and is also unfair to visitors. Our staff do not have to put up with these behaviours. We do not put up with them because we need to keep our staff and visitors safe.
What happens if you breach this policy
We have a zero tolerance policy towards violent, aggressive, abusive, harassing and/or threatening behaviours. That means we will not put up with them at all.
If your behaviour is violent, or aggressive, or abusive, harassing or threatening, we may:
- tell you to stop the behaviour straight away; and/or
- send you a written warning; and/or
- need to take steps to stop you from being violent, aggressive, abusive, harassing or threatening – especially in an emergency or if think, on reasonable grounds, that your behaviour poses a safety risk to staff, visitors or others; and/or
- ask you to leave; and/or
- call for backup, security and/or the Police.
If we ask you to leave, you must leave straight away. If you do not leave when we ask you to leave, we may call other staff members as back up, or we may call security or the Police. We may also start our emergency procedures, which we use to keep our staff safe, including lockdown procedures designed to keep our staff safe.
If your behaviour is violent, or aggressive, or abusive, harassing or threatening, we may also suspend or end our supports and services immediately because we need to make sure our staff are always safe.
Which behaviours are OK
Complaints: You can complain to us any time about the quality or your services or supports. But you must never be violent, aggressive, abusive, harassing or threatening to staff or visitors when you are making a complaint. You may provide feedback to us by clicking here.
Respectful disagreement. Different people sometimes have different ideas and thoughts on lots of topics, and that’s OK. You can disagree with us about anything to do with your or your family member’s supports and services. But you must not be violent, aggressive, abusive or threatening when you disagree with us.
Incidents will be reported to the Directors
All incidents of violence, aggression, abuse, harassment and/or threatening behaviours must be reported promptly by staff to our Directors, and are deemed to be Incidents for the purpose of our Incidents Management and Reportable Incidents System Policy and Procedures. Among other things, the Directors are required to investigate any incident reported under this policy and to take action to ensure that risk management principles are applied to reduce systemic and recurrent risks, and that any mandatory reporting obligations to regulators and to others are satisfied in compliance with laws.
All serious physical acts of violence and assaults, and threats of violence, against individuals will be reported by the Incidents Officer or senior management to the Police.
Review of Zero Tolerance Policy
This policy will be reviewed periodically – at least once a year – to ensure it is effective.
Status of this Document
This policy is intended to document this provider’s zero tolerance approach to violence, aggression, abuse, harassing and threatening behaviour as part of our commitment to maintaining a safe workplace for everyone.
Distribution of this Document
This policy forms part of this provider’s compliance system. A copy is provided to:
- each person receiving supports or services from us via our website; and
- our staff.
Who is responsible for making sure this system is followed?
The Directors have primary responsibility for training all provider staff to comply with the requirements of this policy, including making sure clients and others are aware of their rights and responsibilities.
The Directors also have primary responsibility for the oversight and review of this policy. On all matters relating to this policy, the Directors bear ultimate responsibility for preventing and managing violence.
We take our obligation to provide a safe workplace very seriously, and will work hard to address and resolve safety issues that arise from violent, aggressive, abusive, threatening or harassing behaviours efficiently as set out in this policy. If you would like to discuss this policy further, please contact the Directors.