Restraint Orders – when they can impact your workplace

In this article we look at Court orders and their impact for your business in the workplace.

Court orders that restrain an individual or individuals can include an

  • Apprehended Violence Order,
  • Personal Intervention Order, or a
  • Restraining Order. 

These orders are either

  • Domestic relating to a personal relationship between the parties; or
  • Personal relating to parties not related to each other.

Where such orders can impact the workplace, employers are required to comply with the terms of the order, which will include restrictions on contact between parties.

Examples of where restraints can impact the workplace include

  • Two employees who work at the same employer and have a relationship end and one has an order against the other.
  • An employee who had a relationship with a client or individual where their usual work would take them has an order in place.
  • Workplace bullying resulting in an order taken against an individual following threats or physical violence.
  • Employees married or in a relationship involving domestic violence.

Where an employer is required to comply with the circumstances of a restraint, considerations should be given to

  • Physically separating the employees
    • Transferring one employee to another location.
    • Hybrid work arrangements where one is offsite while one is onsite; or
    • Dependant on the specifics of the order, relocating an employee to another floor or area of a workplace to ensure no contact occurs.
  • Preventing email and phone contact between the parties (where reasonably practicable);
  • Providing a warning to the employee who has the restraint order against them that any breach within the workplace can result in termination of their employment; and
  • Ensuring all relevant stakeholders are aware of the restraint provisions to assist with compliance.

Should compliance with an order/s prevent an employee from being able to perform their role or is deemed a risk to the health and safety of others within the organisation, there may be grounds for termination. 

It is important to remember that due process must be followed when considering any action that may include termination of employment.

For assistance with your obligations regarding due process or any other HR matter, please contact us at [email protected] or 1300 720 004.

Information in HR Advice Online guides and blog posts is meant purely for educational discussion of human resources issues. It contains only general information about human resources matters and due to factors, such as government legislation changes, may not be up to date at the time of reading. It is not legal advice and should not be treated as such.

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