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Central Coast solicitor Kevin Gilmore-Burrell. Central Coast solicitor Kevin Gilmore-Burrell.
13 January 2024 Posted by 

Central Coast solicitor offers solution to workplace bullying

WORKPLACE bullying costs $54B in Australia annually. With about one in 10 workers affected by bullying and an average workers' compensation claim of $33,000, every business has the potential to be affected.
Concerned about the growing number of businesses dealing with the problem, Central Coast solicitor Kevin Gilmore-Burrell decided to do something about it.
His goal is to “put lawyers like myself out of business by solving workplace bullying before it ever becomes a legal issue”. 
Mr Gilmore-Burrell said he created the program called Empathyse “as a social enterprise to provide inexpensive access for any sized business in order to empower employees to solve the problem for a fraction of the cost of ignoring it and hoping it goes away”.
“Workplace bullying can cause anxiety and depression for workers, which can lead to PTSD or, in the worst case, suicide,” he said.
“Businesses end up having to deal with increased workers’ comp premiums, sick leave and compliance costs, which leaves business owners and directors personally liable for multimillion-dollar workplace injury fines and decades of imprisonment.”
Mr Gilmore-Burrell studied law at the University of NSW and has been working on the Central Coast as a local solicitor for more than 20 years, helping local small business owners with employment and business issues.
“In my practice, I noticed that when a legal issue was brought to me, it was too late to stop the problem, and the legal system did not resolve anything to anyone’s satisfaction,” he said.
“In 2012, I started a Master of Business Administration to help provide more practical business advice and prevent these legal issues from arising.  
“From my MBA, I identified workplace bullying as the underlying problem that was not being addressed properly under work health and safety laws. 
“That’s when I decided to research workplace bullying for a PhD from a legal, business and health science perspective at the University of Newcastle.”
It was while undertaking that research Mr Gilmore-Burrell discovered the current Safe Work bullying policies are inconsistent with the Work Health and Safety Act and the new psychosocial hazard code of conduct.
“I designed the Empathyse AI powered website with conflict training, example policies and employment contracts to help disrupt the effect of negative social norms of bullying tolerance in order to create a psychological safety culture that helps stop workplace bullying before it happens,” he said. 
“We have developed complete, evidence-based online education, training, policy and employment agreements to create psychological safety cultures using positive behaviour.
“Empathyse is designed to comply with all current work health and safety, fair work, human rights and gender equality compliance requirements for psychosocial hazards, workplace bullying and sexual harassment.
“Its solutions are designed to complement organisations' existing training, policy and employment contracts. And if you don’t have these resources in place, there are helpful links to get them.”
The program provides cost-effective training solutions that take less than 40 minutes per employee, or 60 minutes for managers, with an online textbook and AI tutor available anywhere at any time.
For more information on Empathyse, visit www.empathyse.com.au/services


Michael Walls
0407 783 413

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