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What is bullying?

A worker is bullied when, while at work, an individual or a group repeatedly behaves unreasonably towards that worker, and that behaviour creates a risk to that worker’s health and safety.

The key elements to remember are that the behaviour needs to be:

  • unreasonable
  • done repeatedly
  • and must impact the worker’s health and safety

Bullying can take the form of verbal, physical, psychological, or social abuse by an individual or group of people in the workplace.

Bullying does not include reasonable management action carried out in a reasonable manner.

Examples of bullying behaviour

Examples of bullying can include:

  • threats
  • humiliation
  • shouting
  • sarcasm
  • intimidation and coercion
  • singling out or ostracism
  • innuendo
  • rumour-mongering
  • disrespect and mocking
  • discrimination
  • exclusion from work events
  • unreasonable work expectations, including too little or too much work, or work below or beyond a worker’s skill level

Who is protected from workplace bullying?

All employees, along with students on work experience, contractors and subcontractors and volunteers are protected from bullying under the law.

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