Lack of Training Heightening Legal Risk for Australian Organisations

iHR Australia’s analysis of the workplace investigations it conducts indicates that untrained managers remain a high compliance risk factor for organisations. 

Managers promoted without the skills to lead and manage as well as those who do not understand their obligations to prevent and manage incidents of workplace bullying, harassment and discrimination are more likely to be on the receiving end of complaints and issues.  The ultimate financial costs extend from low morale and productivity, high rates of absenteeism, soaring insurance premiums and risk to the brand.

According to Eileen Walsh, Director of Professional Services at iHR; “Managers who lack the knowledge and skills around compliance and behavioural matters and the skills to address inappropriate behaviours increase the risk of allegations of behaviours including bullying and harassment.”

This view is endorsed by iHR’s Managing Director Stephen Bell who says that; “Inadequate training definitely places the company and its people at high risk; both legally and from a welfare point of view. Employees will be influenced by the importance their leaders put on this matter.”

Lack of Training Heightening Legal Risk for Australian Organisations

iHR Australia’s 2016 Workplace Investigations Survey reveal some interesting statistics relating to leadership and management:

  • A problematic leadership style that leads to an allegation of inappropriate behaviour is evident in 41% of investigations.
  • A lack of training in management skills that directly impacts on behaviour or process is evident in 17% of investigations.
  • Interpersonal relationship issues that are difficult to manage are evident in 61% of investigations.


Organisations need to remember that there are significant direct and indirect impacts of not adequately training their management staff to lead and manage, that can spill over into legal risk.

Further reading: Nine points your next Workplace Bullying Training for Managers must cover.

Read more about iHR Australia’s Leadership & Management Training and Bullying & Harassment Training that can be delivered as in-house training at your organisation’s premises, as a public training program at a location near you or as an engaging and interactive eLearning program.

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