Everyone has a right to feel safe at work. This includes a right to not be bullied or harassed.
Safework Australia defines workplace bullying as: repeated and unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or a group of workers that creates a risk to health and safety. Examples include:
excessive or unjustified criticism
teasing or practical jokes
unreasonable work demands
A single incident of unreasonable behaviour is not considered to be workplace bullying, however, it may have the potential to escalate and should not be ignored.
Some types of workplace bullying are criminal offences. If you have experienced violence, assault and stalking you can report it directly to the police.
What isn't bullying?
It isn’t bullying for a manager to take disciplinary action, direct your work or make decisions about poor performance. However, reasonable management action that isn't carried out in a reasonable way may be considered bullying.
What you can do
If you think you are being bullied in your workplace it is important to take appropriate steps.
Find out if your organisation has a policy and procedure for bullying.
If you feel safe doing so, you can approach the person you think is bullying you and specify the behaviour you find bullying. A lot of people don’t realise that their behaviour is considered bullying, and willingly change when it is clearly communicated.
Speak to your manager, your human resources professional or a support person about it.
If the behaviour becomes violent or threatening, contact the police immediately.
Your wellbeing and safety is important.If you feel you are being bullied, if you aren’t sure, or if you’d like some support to deal with challenging behaviours in your workplace, call your EAP 1800 629 277.
References and Further Reading