Workplace bullying

Workplace bullying occurs when an individual or group of individuals repeatedly behaves unreasonably towards an individual or group of workers and this unreasonable behaviour causes a risk to health and safety.

Workplace bullying includes, but is not limited to, behaviours such as:

(a) verbal abuse, threats, sarcasm or other forms of demeaning or intimidating language or communication;
(b) psychological harassment;
(c) physical intimidation;
(d) putting employees through initiation rituals;
(e) deliberate change of work duties for the purpose of victimisation;
(f) sabotage of another person’s work;
(g) placing unreasonable work demands on people;
(h) ridiculing another’s opinion;
(i) exclusion from work activities of which the person would reasonably expect to be a part; and
(j) threatening to take unjustified action against a person unless he or she complies with unreasonable requests.

Bullying does not cover situations where an employee feels aggrieved about legitimate and reasonable:

(a) performance management processes;
(b) disciplinary action in line with business owner’s policy; and
(c) allocation of work in compliance with systems and role requirements.

It is important for businesses to ensure that they are managing claims internally appropriately and effectively to reduce the risk of claims being brought against the business with the Fair Work Commission.

Victimisation in the workplace

It is against the law for anyone to  treat you unfairly because you have made (or plan to make) a complaint of discrimination or because you have provided information or evidence about a complaint. This is called victimisation.