MRC Member Bullying and Harassment Policy

1. Introduction

The Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) is committed to providing a safe and respectful environment for members, customers, contractors, staff and any persons interacting with the Club. We aim to provide an environment free from bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, racial and religious vilification and victimisation. We recognise the serious nature of these behaviours and the effect they can have on the health, safety and welfare of individuals.

At all times members, customers and visitors are required to treat others at the Club with dignity, courtesy and respect, and ensure their behaviour is consistent with MRC’s values.

2. Scope

This policy applies to all MRC members, customers, employees, contractors, suppliers and visitors while on course.

3. Policy

Bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, racial and religious vilification and victimisation at the racecourse are unacceptable. Any member, customer or visitor found to have engaged in such conduct may be subject to disciplinary action from the Club. Serious or repeated breaches may result in cancellation of membership and a permanent ban from all MRC venues.

4. Harassment

Harassment is behaviour or conduct which a reasonable person, having regard to all circumstances, would regard as offensive, humiliating or intimidating. Harassment can include but is not limited to the following conduct:

  • Insults, taunting, jokes or innuendo
    Gestures, sarcasm or criticism
    Intrusive questions
    Verbal or non-verbal abuse or ridicule
    Any rough or offensive physical contact
    Using threats, intimidation, or interfering in personal issues
    Displaying or distributing pornographic, racist or offensive materials
    Posting offensive comments or sending offensive messages via social media

5. Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a specific form of harassment which involves unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature or with a sexual connotation. Sexual harassment is unlawful and will not be tolerated.

Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favours and other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature including comments, jokes or messages with a sexual connotation. Sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to, the following conduct:

  • Jokes, innuendo or gestures of a sexual nature;
  • Persistent and unwelcome requests for social contact after having been refused;
  • Leering;
  • Unwelcome comments about a person’s physical appearance or sexuality;
  • Abusing a position of power to obtain sexual favours;
  • Acts of physical intimacy (for example, patting, pinching, rubbing, touching or hugging).

6. Bullying

6.1 What is Bullying?

Bullying is repeated unreasonable behaviour towards an individual that creates a risk to the health and safety of that individual. Behaviours that may constitute bullying include, but are not limited to:

  • Telling jokes, teasing and using nicknames
  • Sarcasm and other forms of demeaning language
  • Threats, abuse or shouting
  • Coercion
  • Inappropriate blaming
  • Ganging up
  • Knowingly ignoring or excluding someone
  • Constant unconstructive and personally targeted criticism
  • Deliberately withholding information or equipment that a person needs or limiting access to their entitlements

Bullying is unacceptable and is unlawful. In addition, if someone is being bullied because of a personal characteristic which is specifically protected by equal opportunity law, it may also amount to unlawful discrimination.

6.2 What is not Harassment or Bullying?

Many things that happen are generally not considered to be harassment or bullying, despite the fact that they may be uncomfortable for those involved. Differences of opinion, conflicts and personality clashes can happen in any environment but usually they do not amount to bullying.

A single incident of unreasonable behaviour is not usually bullying, although it may have the potential to escalate into bullying and therefore should not be ignored.

Reasonable actions, carried out in a reasonable manner, is not bullying.

Racial and Religious Vilification

Vilification is behaviour that encourages others to hate, disrespect, or abuse a person or group of people because of their race or religion. Such behaviour is unlawful.

This includes spoken, written, online or physical behaviour towards a particular race or religious group that encourages others to ridicule them, be hateful or violent towards them, damage their property, or make false claims against them.

It is also against the law to give permission or help someone to vilify others, for example by publishing or distributing information about them.

Victimisation

Victimisation is subjecting or threatening to subject someone to a detriment because they have made a complaint, helped someone else make a complaint, or refused to do something illegal or against company policy. Victimisation is against the law.

It is also victimisation to threaten someone (such as a witness) who may be involved in an investigation of a formal complaint.

Victimisation is a serious breach of this policy and is very likely (depending on circumstances) to result in disciplinary action.

Resolving issues

MRC encourages any member or customer who believes they have been bullied or harassed, sexually harassed, vilified or victimised to take action in line with MRC’s Grievance Policy by contacting the Membership Team on 1300 GO RACE (46 7223) or email membership@mrc.net.au. Anyone who believes they have observed these types of behaviours is also encouraged to take action.