Bullying can affect everyone at some stage in their life and can have a significant and traumatic impact if it is not dealt with properly. Bullying in the workplace can also potentially lead to costly Fair Work claims if it is left unresolved so it is important for employers to identify what is bullying and how to deal with it.
Bullying is defined as repeated, unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or group of workers that could present a risk to health and safety. It is often persistent and occurs over a period of time. Unreasonable behaviour includes actions that victimise, humiliate, intimidate or threaten an individual.
Bullying can occur through verbal, online or written actions and can come from managers or supervisors onto workers, between workers, or from workers to managers or supervisors. These days, workplace bullying can extend past the workplace, with 23% of workplace bullying occurring through social media. Employers should look out for some of the following examples to identify bullying in the workplace:
- Abusive, insulting or offensive language
- Spreading misinformation or malicious rumours
- Behaviour or language that frightens, humiliates, belittles or degrades
- Criticism delivered with yelling or screaming
- Displaying offensive material
- Unreasonably overloading work or not providing enough work
- Deadlines and timeframes that are difficult to meet or constantly changing
- Setting tasks that are unreasonably below or above a person’s skill level
- Deliberately excluding or isolating a person from work activities
For advice regarding workplace bullying, please contact us on (08) 9316 9896 or firstname.lastname@example.org.