The world of work is a fertile ground for the application of universal spiritual principles derived from the world’s religions says, the Australian Institute of Employment Rights (AIER) Executive Director Lisa Heap. This approach will be the theme of a workshop that AIER will host at the Parliament of World Religions on 8 December 2009.

“Australian workplaces are in desperate need of a culture shift. The introduction of improved workplace culture via the application of the values found at the core of all the major religions of the world can be a source of tremendous spiritual, mental and physical well being for workers and employers,” says Ms Heap.

Those participating in the discussion will include:

  • Australia’s leading labour law academic and Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Professor Ron McCallum
  • ACTU President Sharan Burrow
  • Mr David Carman, Director of Carman White Pty Ltd
  • Mr Michael Harmer, Chairman, Harmers Workplace Lawyers

Since 2007, AIER has been promoting its Australian Charter of Employment Rights as a framework for good workplace culture. The Charter is founded on the two key principles of good faith and dignity.

“The synergies between this work and the teachings and learnings of the world’s religions are obvious,” Ms Heap said.  “AIER is very proud of the fact that the organisers of the World Parliament selected us to host this discussion. It means that we get an opportunity to explore how useful the themes of the Charter can be in a global context.”

AIER recently submitted a report to the Prime Minister, and Ministers for Workplace Relations and Health on the cost of poor workplace culture to the Australian community. This report concluded that the single greatest investment that the federal government could make in preventative health and early intervention is to invest in the cultural reform of Australian workplaces.

“This investment will help to tackle the impact of adverse psychosocial work environments on physical and mental well being of workers and their families,” Ms Heap said.

Media contact: Lisa Heap, AIER Executive Director, 03 9647 9102 / 0418 996 354.