Big Bully

Are You Being Bullied in the Workplace?

Are you being bullied in the workplace? You have rights and you don’t have to take it.

We all know that bullies are sad, insecure people, who may or may not, have mummy issues. They are also likely to be bullying others in your workplace.

So if you’re being bullied, here’s what you do – for your own sake and the sake of others:

Make sure you’re informed. Check to see if your workplace has a bullying policy and complaints procedure.

Keep a diary. Documenting everything that happens, including what you’ve done to try stopping it. This can help if you make a complaint.

Get support from someone you trust or contact support services.  Even if you don’t know anyone you can talk to, there are support services which are immediately available to help and support you in the Get Help section. This includes contacting your union.

Approach the bully. If you feel safe and confident, you can approach the person who is bullying you and tell them that their behaviour is unwanted and not acceptable. If you are unsure how to approach them, you might be able to get advice from an appointed contact person, or from a colleague or manager.

Tell someone at your work. Your workplace will usually have a process for making a complaint and resolving disputes, which might include a warning, requiring the bully to have counselling, a mediation process, or even firing the bully if the situation continues. The person to talk to might be your supervisor/manager, a harassment contact officer, or a health and safety representative (if your work has one).

Get information and advice. If the bullying is serious, if the situation has not changed after complaining to your manager, or if there is not anyone you can safely talk to at work you can get outside information and advice.

When to contact the police

If bullying is violent or threatening it may be a criminal offense and you should contact the police immediately call 000

If the situation in not urgent you can call 131 444 for all states and territories except for Victoria where you will need to visit your local police station.

Making a complaint about workplace bullying to the Australian Human Rights Commission 

If you are been bullied, harassed or discriminated against because of your race, sex, age, sexual orientation, religion or because you have a disability or are pregnant you can contact the Australian Human Rights Commission. Call 1300 656 419

http://www.humanrights.gov.au/complaints_information/young_people.html

The Commonwealth Fairwork Ombudsman can provide information and advice about Australia’s workplace rights and rules and the protection you have against harassment and discrimination.  Call  131394 http://www.fairwork.gov.au/resources/best-practice-guides/Pages/a-guide-for-young-workers.aspx

Report bullying to a State or Territory work health and safety authority

Your boss has a duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees. You can report bullying incidences to the following state and territory work health and safety authorities.

Australian Capital Territory

WorkSafe ACT can provide advice and help if you are experiencing workplace bullying call 02 6207 3000 http://www.worksafety.act.gov.au/page/view/1211

New South Wales

Workcover Authority of NSW can provide advice and help if you are experiencing workplace bullying call 13 10 50 http://www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/healthsafety/healthsafetytopics/Psychosocialissues/Pages/Bullying.asp

Northern Territory

NT Worksafe can provide advice and help if you are experiencing workplace bullying. Call 1800 019 115

http://www.nt.gov.au/justice/worksafe/corporate/contacts.shtml 

South Australia

SafeWork SA can provide advice and help if you are experiencing workplace bullying call 1300 365 255

http://www.safework.sa.gov.au/youth/fom_harrassment.jsp

Victoria

Workplace Victoria can provide advice and help if you are experiencing workplace bullying. http://www.vwa.vic.gov.au/safety-and-prevention/health-and-safety-topics…

Queensland

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland can provide advice and help if you are experiencing workplace bullying.  You can call the young workers advisory service 1800 232 000 and a Workplace Bullying hotline 1800 177 717 http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/workplace/workers/youngworkers/index.htm

Western Australia

WorkSafe WA can provide advice and help if you are experiencing workplace bullying. Call 1300 655266
http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/WorkSafe/Content/Safety_Topics/Bullying/

Source: Australian Human Rights Commission

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  1. Melissa

    Great piece, thanks! You are right to say that workplace bullying can be so hard to track – especially because it is not always qualified as “harassment.”


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