1. Your case study and group presentation (assessment 2)
My case study was based on bullying in the workplace. Bullying in the workplace has been very costly to employer and can lead to disastrous results. Workers should be protected in their workplaces. The case study also highlighted on the crimes amendment bill 2011 which sought to expand stalking and include both cyber and workplace bullying. The leaders have a role to act as champions in ensuring that there is respect in the workplace and hold an ongoing conversation with the employees on values and culture of the organisation. The case study called for people to actively resist on bullying happening.
Your reflections on research for the topic:
Before starting the case study, I had already looked at the legal aspects of workplace bullying. I looked at the Crimes Amendment Bill 2011 and also other related legislation on bullying. I supported the legal position in the state with relevant literature and findings from previous case study. When working on the case study, we worked as a group and allocated the topic. This made it easier to come up with a comprehensive literature on the case study. I utilised materials provided in the case study as well as media articles and lecture notes. This helped in enhancing the case study. Use of materials supported the available literature on workplace bullying making the case highly reliable. To support the case study, I found materials from textbooks, journals and government websites very helpful. I also goggled on instances of workplace bullying to support and give evidence on the case study. Use of government websites helped a lot in supporting the legal aspects on workplace bullying.
Library/ workshop session
I had earlier visited the law section in the library hence my visit this time was not the first. During this visit, it was very easy to identify the relevant book that I needed and also look for other relevant ones. For the first time visitors in the law section of the library, getting the right book can be a tiring experience especially if one does not have a specific title in mind. This is due to fact that the section has a lot of law literature which can be confusing to a beginner. Being a regular visitor, it was easy for me to get the textbook that I needed and also look at other related literature. After looking for the book that I needed, I accessed the library computer. I wanted to research on bullying in the workplace and the related literature. This made it a lot easier to research on my own. I was able to use Google search with key words and also access briefly on the Fair Work ombudsman website. The ease of access for the relevant materials online made the research for the topic a lot easier.
2. Other case studies and presentations
Price fixing and 7 Eleven and wage fraud.
I was able to learn a lot from other case studies. For example, in the case about price fixing, I learnt on the legal aspects used in prosecuting price fixing. I found that when caught on price fixing, the firm is liable and can be accused on its name. Also, the directors and senior management are also liable. In this case, I learnt that liability is both civil and criminal. I learnt about the law on price fixing and the policy that is behind it. It is up to the organisations to ensure that they do not break the law and also avoid adverse consequences from price fixing. I was able to learn on the importance of having good corporate governance. On the case on “Eleven and wage fraud, I was able to learn a lot about governance. This case gave me vital insight on the law based on franchising, employment law, contract law and Australian consumer law. I also learnt a lot on which of the government organisations are responsible for administering the law. This includes the ACCC, Fair Work Commission/ Fair Work Ombudsman. The case highlighted the importance of the whistle blowers. The whistleblowers provide important information on a scandal before it can cause irreparable damage. The lawyers and media also have an active part to play in case of breach of ethics in an organisation. They can help in taking action against an organisation who is being involved in a scandal.
Role of regulatory bodies and what they can do
The regulatory bodies have a role to play based on their jurisdiction. ACCC have a role in promoting competition and fair trade in the markets. The main aim is to benefit the consumers, communities and the business. I have learnt that ACCC ensures that individuals and business are able to comply with competition in Australian market and promote fair trade as well as consumer protection laws. Fair Work Ombudsman has a role in ensuring that there is fairness in work being done. It ensures that businesses are abiding by fair play in the business. I was able to learn a lot on the fair work act and how it can be used in ensuring that there is fairness in the workplace.
There is a common theme on ethical behaviour and corporate social responsibility within the cases. For example, through CSR, it is possible to avoid cases of price fixing, workplace bullying and wage fraud. Also, there is element of workplace ethics being ignored in most instances. The cases points out on why it is important to uphold workplace ethics.
Listening to the other case studies, I feel interested to look for further case studies on ethics and corporate social responsibility. This will give me a lot of insight on the ethical scandals in the organisations as well give me ways on how to identify a scandal in the industry.
3. Legal risk, rules and management — general reflections
The three case studies informed me a lot about legal risks, rules and management. I was able to know about the legal risk in the major corporate. I have been able to enhance my understanding of the corporate social responsibility and the business risks involves in failure to uphold ethics. I have been able to look at the legal risk as a consequence of failure to comply with CSR and business ethics.
a) Directors and those responsible for managing companies (or other business entities) need to know the law about:
Directors duties (Corporations act)
The directors based on the Corporations Act 2001, have four main duties which are; care and diligence, good faith, proper use of position and proper use of information. It is important to note that legislation cannot cater for all organisation forms, mission and activities.
Employment law (Fair Work Act)
The directors and those responsible for running companies must be aware of the laws and regulations which govern Australia workplace based on the Fair Work Act. This will make them govern the employee/ employer relation based on the Fair Work Act 2009. This will enforce fairness in the workplace.
Competition and consumer protection (competition and consumer Act)
This act ensures that the welfare of Australians is enhanced. This is through promoting competition and fair trade and provides consumer protection.
The common law of contract and tort (negligence)
There is need to know the law of tort and negligence. Through tort law, it becomes possible to compensate those whose rights have been infringed. It helps in upholding these rights and also redresses them.
b) Resources for them to know the law:
Government authorities and their consultative committees (ACCC, ASIC, Fair Work Ombudsman)
c) Apart from knowing and observing the law what are related factors?
Good corporate governance-The organisation is supposed to have good corporate governance. This ensures that ethics are upheld in an organisation.
Corporate social responsibility (increasing community and shareholder expectations) –the management and organisations have a role to community through CSR. This can also reduce cases of ethical breach.
Ethical and moral behaviour-management and organisations have a role to ensure that there is ethical and moral behaviour in an organisation.
4. Final written report
I have chosen a topic based on Australian airlines and fair work act with specific focus on Qantas airline. This is a good example of legal risk, rules and management. The Australian airline is highly regulated and impacted by the existing and impending legislations. The report is justified since it looks at the legal environment in which the airline is operating on and how it is affected by the fair work act. The report also helps in understanding how to manage legal risk and comply with the legislation on the airline industry.
Annotated bibliography (from reference list)
a) Relevant textbooks
Banks, E. (2012). Risk culture: A practical guide to building and strengthening the fabric of risk management. Cambridge: Palgrave Macmillan.
This is a very insightful text which is offers vital and qualitative aspects of risk management. The author looks at risk management in a holistic manner and also includes risks which are firmly embedded in the corporate culture. The text has been able to use descriptions, examples and case studies which offer an in-depth view on risk management. Using the book, it is possible to gain an understanding on weak and strong cultures. This is important analysis which is not provided by most of the texts. The text comes up with recommendations on structural and behavioural actions which can be used in strengthening the company culture. This supports my literature on risk management.
Butterworths, L. (2009). Fair Work Act and related legislation 2009. London: LexisNexis Butterworths.
This is a text based on the Fair Work Act 2009. The text gives insightful information on the act and acts as a complimentary to the existing literature and government publications on the same. The author describes rules and obligations which are set for the employees and employers. This helps in gaining important insight on the workplace relations. The book also talks on the process leading to the act which acts as an important foundation. This book is a vital source of information on the fair work act.
b) Relevant academic journal articles
Power, M. (2004). The risk management of everything. The Journal of Risk Finance, 5(3), 58 – 65
This is an article which looks at the risk in financial reporting. The article looks at the accountancy and the risks that are involved. It is an important article which analyses auditing from the 1980s to the present. This is an article which analyses auditing from the 1980s to the present. This is through looking at the auditing which has been the main object of discussion during the same period. It then analyses risk and risk management which gained prominence from the 1990s onwards. This is through looking at practice management and risks as well as professional partnerships.
Kleffner, A. E., Lee, T. B., & McGannon, B. (2003). The effect of corporate governance on the use of enterprise risk management: Evidence from Canada. Risk Management & Insurance Review, 6(1), 53-73. DOI: 10.1111/1098-1616.00020
The author of this article is well versed with Enterprise Risk Management (ERM). The article is able to give an in-depth review on the use of ERM by the companies in Canada as well as the challenges that the firm face in gaining an implementing ERM. This is an article based on an in-depth review using quantitative reviews. This is an important article in gaining an understanding of risk management in organisation. It gives insight on how ERM can help in managing risk in an organisation.
c) Other materials:
News Limited (2010). Qantas rejects sex discrimination claims. News.com. Retrieved from http://www.news.com.au/finance/qantas-rejects-sex-discrimination-claims/story-e6frfm1i-1225836781532
The article by News limited reports on a claim that Qantas rejected that female workers were sacked based on gender. This is an important article and forms the basis of this report which analyses Qantas. The article looks at the sex discrimination claims at Qantas which is a major scandal based on fair employment act. Despite the denial by Qantas airline, gender based discrimination is against Fair Work Act. The article also gives basis in which fair work act can be applied to ensure that there is no discrimination.
Guest, A. (2011). Qantas fined $15,500 for mistreating worker. ABC News 18 Aug. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-15/qantas-ruling-a-warning-to-bullies/4201296
This article in ABC News shows a verdict in which Qantas were fined for mistreating an employee. The airline management mistreated an employee despite giving complaints about his conditions. This is a case in which fair work act was upheld and hence serves as an important source of information for the report. It also shows that companies can be held liable as well as the management for failure to uphold fair work act. This is a rare case where both management and the firm are fined. For the first time, the fair work act has been used to ensure employees are not victimised for making complaint.
CCH Australia Limited (2009). Managing termination of employment: A fair work act guide. Sidney: CCH Australia Limited.
This is a legal guide on Fair Work Act 2009 on how to terminate employment. The guide by CCH gives a practical way in which employment can be terminated in a legal manner. Through this legal guide, one is given ways in which an employer can be justified to terminate employment. Laws provides avenue in which employment termination can be carried out. This legal guide gives vital information on employee termination.
CCH Australia Staff. (2012). Australian Fair Work Act 2009 with regulations and rules. Sidney: CCH Australia, Limited.
This is a legal book by CCH Australia providing information relevant to federal system employers and employees. It is a vital guide on gaining quick access to the federal legislation. The legal guide helps in gaining quick information and also offers advice on updated laws and regulations. This has helped on accessing the Gender Equality Act 2012 which is vital in this case study.