Harassment, bullying and unlawful discrimination are unacceptable in the Australian music industry. These behaviours have a serious impact on the wellbeing and mental health of music industry workers.

As the music industry’s leading charity and wellbeing advocate, we strongly encourage and promote safety, mental health and wellbeing best practice across all sectors of the industry. We invite music industry workplaces and employers to partner with us in this commitment by signing up to our Minimum Standards for a Mentally Healthy Music Industry.

This guide is a checkpoint for employers in the music industry to help you prevent sexual harm, harassment, bullying and discrimination occurring in your workplaces and assist in implementing processes for their employees, contractors, subcontractors and volunteers to raise concerns.

The Support Act Wellbeing Helpline is available if you need someone to talk to. This is a free phone counselling service for anyone working in Australian music or the arts, easily accessed by calling 1800 959 500. Select option 5 for the Safety At Work Support Line. You don’t have to be in a crisis to call the Helpline. Sometimes you just need to talk it out.


The Fair Work Commission and Fair Work Ombudsman websites contain a number of useful guides regarding unlawful conduct in the workplace.


Employees who are protected from discrimination include full time, part time and casual employees, probationary employees, apprentices and trainees, and individuals employed for fixed periods of time or tasks. It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee because of protected attributes. It is also unlawful to refuse to hire a prospective employee based on a protected attribute.

‘Protected attributes’ may include, among other things, a person’s race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, religion, political opinion and social origin. 

As an employer, you can find out more about your obligations in relation to discrimination here:
Fair Work – Workplace discrimination Fact Sheet
Fair Work Commission – Discrimination


Sexual harassment in the workplace can be both psychologically and physically harmful to workers and can pose a serious risk to their health and safety.

You can find out more about sexual harassment in our Guide to Sexual Misconduct, Bullying and Discrimination here.

Safe Work Australia provides comprehensive advice for employers on sexual harassment here.  

Since December 2022, employers have a positive obligation to eliminate workplace sexual harassment, sex discrimination and victimisation. This positive duty imposes a legal obligation on employers to take proactive and meaningful action to prevent workplace sexual harassment, rather than only responding after it occurs. You can find out more on the Respect@Work website.  

One way that you can take preventative action is by participating in the training against bullying, harassment and discrimination that Support Act offers industry professionals. View our public training schedule here

Committing to, and complying with, Support Act’s Minimum Standards for a Mentally Healthy Workplace is also a preventative measure. 


Workers have the right to a workplace free from bullying. Workplace bullying is a risk to health and safety. Employers must take steps to prevent it from occurring and respond quickly if it does occur. 

The Support Act Guide to Sexual Misconduct, Bullying and Discrimination provides more information about bullying behaviours. 

Reasonable management action that’s carried out in a reasonable way is not bullying. An employer or manager can:

  • make decisions about poor performance;
  • take disciplinary action; and
  • direct and control the way work is carried out.

Management action that isn’t carried out in a reasonable way may be considered bullying. The following sites provide useful information for employers about bullying. Safe Work Australia also provides comprehensive resources for employers on managing psychosocial hazards like bullying. 

Fair Work – Bullying in the workplace
Safe Work Australia – Bullying
Safe Work Australia – Psychosocial Hazards

Support Act’s new Mentally Healthy Workplaces Program is in its pilot phase. You can view the schedule and register your interest here.


Maintaining a safe workplace is everyone’s responsibility. 

Work health and safety requirements are specific to each state and territory. The Safe Work Australia website contains links to the relevant regulatory bodies for each state and territory. It also provides useful resources for employers on how to manage workplace health and safety risks. 

Bullying, discrimination, sexual harassment are all psychosocial hazards that present serious risks to the health and safety of employees and other participants in a workplace. 

As a person conducting a music industry business or undertaking (PCBU), you must manage physical as well as psychosocial risks for your employees, contractors and subcontractors and their employees, labour hire employees, outworkers, apprentices and volunteers. When working with other businesses, to the extent it is reasonable to do so, you should determine whether they have appropriate policies and procedures in place as this may affect the safety of any workers sharing a workplace with them.

The obligations you have to your employees apply even if a risk or injury is caused by someone who is not an employee of yours and you must, as far as is reasonably practicable, eliminate or minimise any risks to their health and safety. This can include ensuring you encourage and afford a real opportunity for employee concerns or complaints to be raised with you and that those are managed within an understanding of your obligations as an employer.

You should consider in relation to any subcontractor arrangements requiring any subcontractors you engage to comply with your organisation’s policies, including in relation to work health and safety.  

Support Act offers a free Mentally Healthy Workplaces Program for all professional music businesses that will help you to understand and manage psychosocial hazards in your workplace.


The New South Wales Government released a case study about managing workplace psychosocial hazards in the Arts and Recreation Services Sector. This document talks through identifying psychosocial hazards, identifying controls to manage psychosocial hazards and implementing psychosocial controls in response to the workplace case study. You can find out more about the Code of Practice: Managing psychosocial hazards at work here. You can download the case study below as well as visit the industry resources kit page:

Arts and entertainment industry resource kit


Employers are required to consult with workers regarding work health and safety measures. As an employer, it’s important that you have in place a process for consulting with employees and workers and giving them a reasonable opportunity to express their views and contribute to decision-making. The best way to consult will depend on the size and structure of your business, the people who work for your business and the type of work they do, and the specific physical and psychosocial risks that are specific to your workplace or type of work. 

Safe Work Australian – WHS duties Consultation


Workplace grievances and complaints can arise in the workplace. If they cannot be quickly an informally resolved, it is important to have a more formal process, such as that contained in this effective dispute resolution resource from the Fair Work Ombudsman.


To support all in taking the next step in creating safer workplaces, we’ve created some template policies, with help from APRA AMCOS and Banki Haddock Fiora Lawyers.

These can be used as a guide to assist organisations looking to implement new policies around safer workplaces.

You can contact us at programs@supportact.org.au to access our template policies relevant to these issues. 

*The Support Act Guide to Safer Workplaces in the Music Industry was compiled with the assistance of APRA AMCOS and Banki Haddock Fiora Lawyers.