LANDER & ROGERS PUT FORWARD THE CASE FOR ONLINE COMPLIANCE TRAINING
Learning Seat partnered with leading Australian law firm, Lander & Rogers, to create The S.A.F.E. Files, a suite of best-practice online compliance training modules. The S.A.F.E. Files train and educate employees about their legal obligations in the workplace.
Just how compliant is online training when compared to face-to-face delivery methods?
The simple answer is that online compliance training delivers the same level of regulatory compliance as a face-to-face delivery method.
As employers are aware, the essence of the defence to a claim of vicarious liability for discrimination or harassment is that the employer must have taken all reasonable steps to prevent the discrimination or harassment from occurring. This notion of “all reasonable steps” is not defined by the law.
In considering whether an employer has taken all reasonable steps to prevent the unlawful conduct, the Courts have identified that effective and comprehensive training, including refresher training, is critical. The S.A.F.E. Files delivers this for employers.
In fact, in a recent sexual harassment case before the Federal Court of Australia, Richardson v Oracle, Justice Buchanan examined this very issue to determine whether appropriate workplace behaviour training delivered through an online compliance package met the requirements of taking all reasonable steps.
The lawyers for Ms Richardson tried to criticise the delivery method of the training package. One criticism was that the training was capable of manipulation because it used yes/no answers so it was possible to work through the course without any real attention being paid to it. Another criticism was that no face-to-face sexual harassment training was provided.
The implications in these criticisms were that employees either could not be trusted to take their obligations seriously, or would give them so little attention that they required the discipline of a classroom.
The Judge rejected these arguments and said these criticisms were misplaced. It is clear that online compliance training is just as effective as face-to-face training when it comes to legal compliance.
One interesting aspect of this decision was that the Judge focussed on the content of the global online training package. Justice Buchanan found that the content did not adequately deal with the issues of sexual harassment in the Australian context, and in particular it did not clearly identify that sexual harassment is against the law and it did not identify the source of the legal standard. READ MORE…