Bullying & Harassment

When Employment Law issues arise, time is critical.

All workers should be able to attend their workplace without being bullied or harassed.  

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. 

What is Workplace Bullying?

Examples of bullying can include: 

  • Behaving aggressively,  
  • Unwanted or unsolicited messages outside the workplace, 
  • Teasing and practical jokes, 
  • Pressuring someone to behave inappropriately, 
  • Exclusion from work-related events or functions, and 
  • Unreasonable workplace demands. 

Bullying and harassment in the workplace can have a significant impact on workers. These can include: 

  • Decreased productivity,  
  • Feelings of anxiousness and stress in the workplace, 
  • Deliberately avoiding work,  
  • A breakdown of trust between the worker and the employer, and 
  • A toll on relationships outside the workplace. 

Workplace Bullying

As an employer, you have obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW) to provide a safe workplace. Further, a duty of care is owed to workers for their health and wellbeing whilst attending the workplace. A failure to uphold these obligations can have dire consequences for both your business and your employees. 

Should a bullying issue in the workplace not be resolved, workers can make an application to the Fair Work Commission for an order to stop bullying. This process can involve mediation or a hearing where penalties ordered by the Fair Work Commission can be extremely serious if substantiated.  

The bullying provisions are “civil remedy provisions” of the Fair Work Act 2009 meaning company Directors can be held personally liable for contraventions by the company. Further, a worker is protected from any adverse actions being made against them for raising a bullying complaint due to the General Protections provision of the Fair Work Act 2009. 

Bullying & Harassment Recommendations for Employers  

  • Consult our employment lawyers to develop a Bullying & Harassment Policy that provides a clear pathway and guideline for workers who raise complaints. 
  • Ensure any bullying or harassment complaint is dealt with expeditiously and with due care and skill. 
  • Speak with our employment lawyers should you be in doubt over your obligations under the Fair Work Act 2009 or Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW).  

The bullying provisions are “civil remedy provisions” of the Fair Work Act 2009 meaning company Directors can be held personally liable for contraventions by the company. Further, a worker is protected from any adverse actions being made against them for raising a bullying complaint due to the General Protections provision of the Fair Work Act 2009. 

Call to speak to an Workplace Bullying Lawyer today.
We service Newcastle, Sydney and Central Coast.