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What occurred to 24-12 months-previous Brittany Higgins following an alleged rape at Parliament House in Canberra exposes the shameful flaws in our authorities’s personal office insurance policies.
Parliament House is a place the place choices that form our nation are made, and it’s a place for celebration and memorial.
Most significantly, it’s a place for all Australians.
It was additionally the establishment the place Higgins needed to pursue a profession in politics. However she’s realized the onerous approach that a mercenary tradition nonetheless permeates the corridors of Canberra.
She alleges she was raped by a colleague in a minister’s workplace after a night time out in March 2019.
Higgins felt forced to select between reporting the matter to the police or protecting her job, so what does this inform us in regards to the tradition she is working in?
The federal government has failed the system it’s meant to uphold.
The Prime Minister’s response suggests he and his Authorities is totally out of tune with the cultural shift demanding elevated accountability for office sexual misconduct.
If the PM was a CEO, he would be forced to resign
The incident calls into query the status of our Prime Minister who – till he spoke to his spouse, Jenny – wasn’t actually clear on the gravity of what had occurred beneath his watch.
In truth, Morrison solely introduced a overview into the office tradition of Parliament House after talking to his spouse and after contemplating how he, as a father, would need his daughters to be handled.
If the Prime Minister had been the CEO of a firm, his status would be tarnished and greater than possible he would have been forced to resign amid allegations and an investigation into whether or not he failed to present a protected office.
If he have been the CEO of an ASX-listed firm, there would be shareholder revolt over the board’s mishandling of the sexual assault in its workplace.
The Prime Minister shouldn’t want to seek the advice of his spouse to know that girls who’ve allegedly been raped ought to be supported and people in energy who knew about it, held to account.
The behaviour proven by our Prime Minister and his Ministers and their workers doesn’t meet office well being and security requirements and so they all want to be referred to as out on it.
This isn’t the primary time Canberra has been rocked by a collection of sexual harassment and misconduct allegations the place leaders have failed to deal with them appropriately.
Why is there no HR?
Canberra wants to change whether it is to create a protected office and a sound tradition.
Accountable behaviour within the office is one thing a few of our legislators nonetheless battle with and Higgins’ expertise sends a harmful message that they don’t respect and uphold their very own office insurance policies.
As soon as once more the criticism dealing with course of has failed.
As Higgins stated, there may be “no HR” to complain to at Parliament House. So why is there no HR? The criticism dealing with course of is perilous.
The Authorities wants higher threat assessments, higher codes of behaviour, higher upward communication, higher whistle-blower safety and significantly better office schooling to establish and forestall breaches of conduct and behavior.
Importantly, either side of Parliament want to come collectively on this essential subject.
It’s a unhappy day after we be taught that reporting an alleged rape means issues worsen, not higher.
We are able to solely hope a overview into office security at Parliament House will guarantee there are not any extra circumstances like Brittany Higgins.
Maureen Kyne is a office professional and the principal of Maureen Kyne & Associates
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