Changes to the Fair Work Act 2009(cwth) that came into force on 01 Jan 2014 mean that a worker who believes that they are being bullied at work, can apply to the Fair Work Commission for an order to stop bullying.
Under the Act, a worker is being bullied when a person or a group of people repeatedly behave unreasonably towards a worker or a group of workers AND the behaviour creates a risk to health and safety.
Examples of bullying behaviour
The Fair Work Commission website lists the following as examples of what bullying behaviour may be.
Bullying behaviour may involve, for example, any of the following types of behaviour:
- aggressive or intimidating conduct
- belittling or humiliating comments
- spreading malicious rumours
- teasing, practical jokes or ‘initiation ceremonies’
- exclusion from work-related events
- unreasonable work expectations, including too much or too little work, or work below or beyond a worker’s skill level
- displaying offensive material
- pressure to behave in an inappropriate manner.
It is important to note, that for the behaviour to be classed as bullying, the behaviour must be repeated and unreasonable and must create a risk to health and safety.