Unpaid invoices and taunts for living in misery: the circumstances which led the FWC to issue rare stop bullying orders.
A recent case has seen stop bullying orders issued in relation to two applications jointly filed, with Deputy President Dobson satisfied that repeated unreasonable behaviour created an ongoing risk to the Applicant’s health and safety and left them “living in misery”.
Deputy President Dobson found a gated community body corporate and its treasurer to have acted unreasonably for failure to pay invoices and reimburse expenses causing financial strain on the Applicants, two on-site caretakers, over the Christmas period and mocking the caretakers in response to a series of increasingly desperate emails requesting payment of the owed funds.
Noting this was the second application by the caretaker company, Deputy President Dobson recalled that in July last year, the parties agreed to put some “preventative actions” in place following a private conference. “The failure to effectively implement the measures agreed at the conference of 22 July 2022, particularly the bullying training, the communications protocol and the point of liaison between the parties, is disappointing,” Deputy President Dobson remarked.
In issuing interim orders and the decision, Deputy President Dobson chose to keep the identity of the parties confidential, similar to orders previously issued by Deputy President Asbury, in which she stated, “I have done so on the basis that it will be more conducive to the resumption and continuation of on-going safe and productive working relationship between the parties.”