What to do if you are being harassed or bullied in the workplace.

May 4, 2021

It is important to understand that harassment or bullying in the workplace is a serious matter and may result in psychological injury if a pattern of behaviour is allowed to continue.

Workers have the right to work in a safe inclusive workplace, free from bullying and harassment, which is managed in a reasonable way.

You may require the assistance of the Fair work Ombudsman to remedy the problem. If this is not successful, you may need to obtain legal advice.

What is bullying?

A worker is bullied at work if a person or group of people repeatedly act unreasonably towards them or a group of workers AND the behaviour creates a risk to health and safety.

‘Unreasonable behaviour’ includes victimising, humiliating, intimidating, or threatening. Whether a behaviour is unreasonable depends on whether a reasonable person might see it as unreasonable in the circumstances. It is an objective test and does not depend only on the subjective response by the worker.

Examples of bullying include behaving aggressively, teasing or practical jokes, pressuring someone to behave inappropriately, excluding someone from work-related events or unreasonable work demands.

It is NOT bullying if it is reasonable management action taken in a reasonable way. This means employers are able to make decisions about poor performance, take disciplinary action, and direct and control the way work is carried out.

Claims of bullying are made ordinarily to the Fair Work Commission

If you or someone you know needs crisis support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Get in Touch