Competition sports are becoming a more popular sport in Australia as the national men’s and women’s championships approach.
However, for the first time in some time, sport’s governing body is trying to tackle an issue that is often overlooked when people are talking about a sport’s performance in the workplace: the impact of competitive aggression.
The ABC understands that the Australian Workplace Safety and Fair Work Commission is considering a ban on people who have had a previous criminal conviction for a violent or aggressive act against another person.
The current law bans repeat offenders, but those convicted of offences such as domestic violence, assault or threatening behaviour are not covered.
However there are some exceptions for repeat offenders who have already been convicted of an offence of “aggravated criminal conduct” and have been sentenced to at least two years of prison.
The ban would also apply to “non-serious violent or serious aggressive conduct” such as the death of a child.
In the case of an act of domestic violence or violence against another, the ban would only apply to those convicted in a court-martial.
The ACT has a long history of allowing repeat offenders to remain in the workforce, but the new policy could be a step in the right direction, according to sports lawyer and ABC Sports contributor John Goulson.
He said the ban was “important because it provides some protection for people who’ve had previous convictions and who have been in the past.”
“It’s going to protect people from getting into a situation where they’re violent or threatening or a lot of things that have been used against them in the future,” Mr Goulons said.
“It means that there’s a level of protection for the workplace that will make people feel safe in the work place and for their family.”
The new law also allows for the commission to decide on the extent of the sanction.
Mr Goulsons believes the ACT has gone too far with its current policy, which allows for “a very limited range of offences”.
“The thing that I would have liked to see is some sort of maximum range of sanction,” he said.
However he believes the new legislation is the right move.
“There’s some work that needs to be done to see that it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.”
This is a positive step and a step that the ACT can now take to give the Australian people a little bit more protection in the workplaces.
“In an interview with the ABC, Mr Goulsson said the ACT was making the right call in banning repeat offenders.”
I don’t think it’s a panacea for the problem of domestic and workplace violence, but it’s an important step,” he told the ABC.”
That’s a very positive thing to see.
“The question is whether it’s going in the direction of being enough or whether it will be enough to actually stop this problem.”
He said if people were to get back into the workforce after the ban, the commission would need to be able to identify who had committed an offence.
“When you look at the figures, if we’re able to see a small number of people that are in the prison system, that’s going too far,” he explained.
Topics:work,people,competition-and-organisations,catholic,sports,australiaFirst posted January 13, 2020 12:50:00Contact Sarah Young