Bullying in the Workplace

 Monday, March 06, 2017
Bullying in the Workplace (Now a Crime Punishable by up to 10 Years Imprisonment) – Employers Must Have a Bullying Policy in Place


What if I am being bullied?

Anyone can be subjected to bullying in the workplace, regardless of their position, salary or seniority.

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) have released an Anti-Bullying Benchbook and has provided the following examples of what constitutes bullying in the workplace:

  1. Belittling or humiliating comments;
  2. Spreading malicious rumours;
  3. Exclusion from work related events; and
  4. Unreasonable work expectations.

At Cosgriff Lawyers our employment lawyers can help you quickly and discretely put a stop to bullying and protect your rights if you are suffering from bullying.

What if I am accused of being a bully?

We also understand that sometimes an employer or employee can be unfairly accused of bullying for reasonable management actions or where there are personality clashes in the workplace.

If you are accused of bullying we can assist you work through the process in an effort to minimise conflict and issues with your employment.

What must all employers do?

At a bare minimum, employers must have a bullying policy in place and provide training to their employees around that policy.

We can draft the policy and attend at your workplace to provide training for your staff.

Bullying can expose employers to legal liability. There are a number of legal actions that can and are being brought against employers arising from workplace bullying. Examples of potential legal actions are:

  • claims for breach of the implied term of good faith in the contract of employment;
  • unfair dismissal claims;
  • unfair contract claims; and
  • criminal charges.

How can bullying be prevented in the workplace?

  • Performance reviews and feedback
  • Providing staff education as to what is and isn’t bullying
  • Early intervention and conducting an investigation into bullying if claims are being made.

Please call or email our office to make an appointment.