Helpful sites that will assist you to gain a better understanding of what bullying is

Everyone has the right to not be bullied or harassed in their work place.

As per the Fair Work Act 2009 – SECT 789FD, in constitutionally-covered business bullying occurs in the workplace when:

  • a person or a group of people repeatedly behaves unreasonably towards a worker or a group of workers at work


  • the behaviour creates a risk to health and safety.

Unreasonable behaviour includes victimising, humiliating, intimidating or threatening.

It is important to note that whether a behaviour is unreasonable can depend on whether a reasonable person might see the behaviour as unreasonable in the circumstances.

In terms of what bullying can look like in the workplace, it can include someone or a group of people:

  • behaving aggressively
  • teasing or practical jokes
  • pressuring someone to behave inappropriately
  • excluding someone from work-related events or
  • unreasonable work demands.

It’s important to know that not all behaviour that makes a worker feel upset or undervalued is workplace bullying.

In your workplace, management are allowed to take reasonable management action taken as they are responsible for monitoring the quality and timeliness of work and providing staff with feedback on their performance. If this is done in a reasonable way, it is not workplace bullying.

If performance issues need to be addressed, the conversation needs to be constructive and supportive, and focus on the positives as well as the negatives. It should not be humiliating or demeaning.

Fair Work Ombudsman

How the Fair Work Ombudsman deals with a bullying claim

Safe Work Australia

Australian Human Rights Commission


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