Everyone has the right to feel safe and respected in the workplace. The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (the Department) is committed to ensuring that all employees have access to support and information to help them with any enquiries they have about bullying, harassment, sexual harassment or discrimination in the workplace.
The Workplace Contact Officer (WCO) Network has been established to complement existing Departmental policies and procedures that outline expectations around behavioural conduct ensuring respectful workplaces.
WCOs must complete initial training before they may commence in their role. WCOs are supported by the Department’s Human Resources Division through the provision of regular training and guidance.
The WCO Network has representatives in all the Department’s regions and offices.
Employees are welcome to contact any WCO as they feel appropriate.
A WCO can assist employees who have general enquiries or concerns about workplace conduct in relation to discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment or bullying by:
- providing confidential and impartial information and support
- referring employees to key support services available internally and externally to the Department
- discussing Departmental policies, processes and principles relating to discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment or bullying.
WCOs respect the confidentiality of employee enquiries. The only reports WCOs are expected to make is for the purpose of providing statistical information to guide the development of future policies and processes.
WCOs are office and regional representatives who have knowledge about relevant policies and services available in and outside the Department. Complainants or respondents need to take responsibility for any formal or informal action they choose to take. While WCOs do not investigate situations or provide advocacy services, they will empower employees with the information needed so that they may decide how to best address their concerns.
For further information including a listing of WCOs see Contact Information below.
The responsibilities and standards of conduct that are expected of employees in the Department are set out in a number of instruments, two of which include:
The online Workplace Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying training course aims to educate employees about their rights and responsibilities under Equal Opportunity and Occupational Health and Safety legislation and to raise awareness of Departmental policies on workplace conduct.
The course is available as an information resource and may be accessed at any stage, as required.
The course contains three components:
- Workplace Discrimination and Harassment (http://www.techniworks.com.au/deecdvic)
- Eliminate Workplace Bullying - select the version for staff or managers and supervisors, as appropriate (http://www.techniworks.com.au/deecdvic)
- Workplace Discrimination and Harassment – Refresher (http://www.techniworks.com.au/deecdvic)
Please see the links below for a list of WCOs in the Department’s regions and offices or key support services available:
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