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Workplace Bullying

Workplace-Bullying

Unfortunately the number of members approaching the ASU for assistance with Workplace bullying is on the rise. This is now one of the biggest issues faced by our members.

WHAT IS BULLYING?

Workplace bullying is repeated unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or a group of workers that creates a risk to health and safety. 

Bullying can be

  • abusive, insulting or offensive language
  • yelling or screaming
  • spreading malicious rumours
  • behaviour or language that frightens, humiliates or degrades
  • inappropriate comments
  • making you a regular focus for practical jokes
  • interfering with your personal property
  • threatening you with physical assault
  • unreasonable workloads and timelines
  • constantly changing deadlines
  • setting tasks that are unreasonably below or beyond your skills
  • denying access to information, consultation or resources
  • excluding, isolating or marginalising someone
  • unfair access to entitlements such as leave or training.

It does not apply to reasonable management action carried out in a reasonable manner.

BULLYING IS ILLEGAL.

You have the right to be in a safe workplace free from violence, harassment and bullying.

Employers must comply with the Work Health and Safety Act and Regulations and the Code of Practice [on workplace bullying]. They must take reasonable steps to eliminate or minimise risks associated with bullying.  

From 1 January 2014, amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Comm) allow certain workers employed under a Commonwealth Award to apply to the Fair Work Commission for an order to stop workplace bullying. 

BULLYING WILL DAMAGE YOUR WORKPLACE

Bullying can lead to -

  • failure to comply with due diligence obligations under the WHS Act
  • high staff turnover and associated recruitment and training costs
  • low morale and motivation
  • increased absenteeism
  • lost productivity
  • disruption to work while complex complaints are being investigated, and
  • costly workers’ compensation claims or legal action.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF IM BULLIED?

Everyone’s situation is unique.  It is important to get advice if you think you are being bullied.  Don’t wait for things to get worse!

The ASU can help you deal with it. Call us on 8363 1322 for support.

We also have a number of new resources specifically targeting workplace bullying, including posters for workplaces that remind everyone that bullying is illegal and employers have an obligation to ensure employees are safe at work.