Everyone has the right to a safe workplace
Everyone has the right to a safe workplace, and that means not being subjected to bullying or harassment.
Both state and federal laws protect workers from bullying and harassment.
Workplace bullying and harassment can be debilitating for victims and can lead to health issues.
For example, depression, anxiety and also post traumatic stress disorder.
What is bullying?
According to the Fair Work Act, a worker is bullied if, while at work, an individual or a group repeatedly behaves unreasonably towards that worker, and that behaviour creates a risk to that worker’s health and safety.
The key elements to remember are that the behaviour needs to be:
- done repeatedly; and
- must impact the worker’s health and safety.
Bullying can take the form of verbal, physical, psychological, or social abuse by an individual or group of people in the workplace.
Bullying does not include reasonable management action carried out in a reasonable manner.
Examples of bullying behaviour
Examples of bullying can include:
- intimidation and coercion
- singling out or ostracism
- disrespect and mocking
- exclusion from work events
unreasonable work expectations, including too little or too much work, or work below or beyond a worker’s skill level
Who is protected from workplace bullying?
All employees, along with students on work experience, contractors and subcontractors and volunteers are protected from bullying under the law.
How We Can Help
If you have experienced workplace bullying or harassment, our team of Australian employment lawyers and industrial advocates can help.
We can seek an order from the Fair Work Commission to have the bullying behaviour stopped – it acts like an AVO at work.
Look after yourself
Workplace bullying can affect people in different ways.
It is important to look after your health and safety and your well being.
If someone is making physical threats against you or your property, contact the police immediately by calling Triple Zero (000).
If you are feeling anxious or depressed, make sure that you talk to someone.
Speak to a friend, or you can make an appointment to see your doctor, or you can contact:
beyondblue on 1300 22 4636
Lifeline on 13 11 44
Kids’ HelpLine on 1800 55 1800
LAST UPDATED: March 2021
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