Posted on 2/12/2015 by
Bullying at work
Bullying at work, as defined by the Fair Work Act 2009, occurs when:
a person or a group of people behaves unreasonably and repeatedly towards a worker or a group of workers while at work, andthe behaviour creates a risk to health and safety.
Bullying does not include reasonable management action carried out in a reasonable manner.
However, according to Fair Work Commission, in order for it to be bullying the behavior must be repeated and unreasonable and must create a risk to health and safety.
Examples of these behaviors include but are not limited to:
- Aggressive or intimidating conduct
- Belittling or humiliating comments
- Unjustified criticism or complaints
- Spreading malicious rumours
- Teasing, practical jokes or 'initiation ceremonies'
- Deliberately excluding someone from workplace activities
- Unreasonable work expectations, including too much or too little work, or work below or beyond a worker's skill level
- Displaying offensive material
- Pressure to behave in an inappropriate manner.
- Changing work arrangements such as rosters and leave to deliberately inconvenience a particular worker or workers.
According to Bully Blocking, More than one in five people are bullied at work; in some industries, such as health, welfare, education and government and semi–government services, the figure is far higher, ranging from 25%, 50% to 97% (Duncan and Riley study).
About one in three employees are affected by workplace bullying.
Bullying places their health, well-being, safety and career at risk, interferes with job performance and creates a toxic working environment.
What to do if I feel like I am getting bullied at work?
If you're being bullied at work, there are steps you can take to stop it.
- Checking your work's policy on bullying and harassment
- Writing down what happens so you've got records of the bullying
- Talking to people you trust – whether it’s a friend, counsellor, or other support person
- Talking to the bully about their behaviour, if you feel safe doing this
- Telling a manager or supervisor
- Taking it further: if you can't resolve the issue in your workplace, you can talk to the Fair Work
- Commission and get more info on their anti-bullying process, speak to a union rep, or if the bullying is violent or threatening, go to the police
Fair Work Commission
Bully Zero Australia Foundation
Australian Human Rights Commission
Safe Work Australia