Workplace bullying is repeated and unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or a group of workers that creates a risk to health and safety in the workplace.
Bullying can take different forms including psychological, physical or even indirect - for example deliberately excluding someone from work-related activities. It can be obvious and it can be subtle, which means it's not always easy to spot.
Some examples of workplace bullying include:
- abusive or offensive language or comments
- aggressive and intimidating behaviour
- belittling or humiliating comments
- practical jokes or initiation
- unjustified criticism or complaints.
Examples of potential unreasonable behaviour include:
- offensive language or comments
- unjustified criticism
- deliberately excluding someone from workplace activities
- withholding information that is needed for work
- the allocation of meaningless tasks
- unreasonable deadlines.
Everyone at work can help ensure that bullying does not occur. It is important to respond quickly because the longer bullying continues, the more difficult it is to address and the harder it becomes to repair working relationships.
Workplace bullying can occur in any business and can be harmful to you if you experience or witness it.
Discrimination and harassment
Discrimination and sexual harassment are behaviours that contribute to bullying if they occur.
Contact the Anti-Discrimination Board if you need advice on discrimination based on:
- age carer's responsibilities
- marital or domestic status
- transgender status.