Managing Workplace Bullying Policy

Bullying and its consequences and costs, whether in the workplace, schoolyard, public space or cyberspace, are receiving increasing focus and attention, including by the legislatures of Australia. The federal nature of laws in Australia means that recognition of bullying varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Targets of bullying therefore rely upon a range of statutes and the common law (e.g. the tort of negligence) in dealing with the problem. Work health and safety and anti-discrimination legislation variously address bullying in the workplace. For instance, bullying may also be discrimination if it is because of a person’s age, gender, pregnancy, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or certain other reasons. The 2013 amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) mean that, from 1 January 2014, workers who reasonably believe they have been bullied at work will be able to make an application to the Fair Work Commission for help to resolve the bullying.

The purpose of this policy is to prevent bullying in the workplace. The policy provides managers and other workers with information to help achieve its policy objectives by outlining expectations of behaviour and procedures for dealing with complaints. The policy includes:

  • a definition of workplace bullying and a statement that workplace bullying will not be tolerated;
  • a complaints process; and
  • consequences for the perpetrators of workplace bullying.

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