Bullying and Harassment

According to Work Safe's Preventing and Responding to Bullying at Work - Edition No:3 June 2009 Vic/NSW bullying is defined as:

"Repeated unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or group of workers that creates a risk to health and safety"

A single incident of unreasonable behaviour may still have the potential to escalate into bullying and therefore should not be ignored. Single incidents can still create a risk to heath and safety.

The guide makes reference to 2 types of bullying:


Direct bullying:

·   Verbal abuse;
·   Putting someone down;
·   Spreading rumours or innuendo about someone;
·   Interfering with someone's personal property or work equipment;


Indirect bullying:

·   Unjustified criticism or complaints;
·   Deliberately excluding someone from workplace activities;
·   Deliberately denying access to information or other resources;
·   Withholding information that is vital for effective work performance;
·   Setting tasks that are unreasonably above or below a worker's ability;
·   Deliberately changing work arrangements, such as rosters and leave to inconvenience a particular worker or workers;
·   Setting timelines that are very difficult to achieve;
·   excessive scrutiny at work;


What isn't bullying:

Reasonable management actions carried out in a fair way are not bullying e.g.

·   Setting performance goals, standards and deadlines;
·   Allocating work to a worker;
·   Rostering and allocating working hours;
·   Transferring a worker;
·   Deciding not to select a worker for promotion;
·   Informing a worker about unsatisfactory work performance;
·   Informing a worker about inappropriate behaviour;
·   implementing organisational changes;
·   Performance management process;
·   Constructive feedback;
·   Downsizing;


Proactive Complaints Management is able to provide advice and organisational policy review on bullying and harassment and appropriate staff grievance procedure.

If your organisation would like to discuss your requirements please contact Steve Aivaliotis via email steve@proactivecm.com.au

Issues to consider when an allegation of bullying and harassment are raised by staff

The following information contained in the link below describes some considerations that organisations should keep in mind if/when an allegation of bullying and harassment is raised with senior staff.

Click to view - Bullying Article

Conducting Effective Bullying and Harassment Investigations

This information sheet looks at the process of undertaking effective investigations and the process organisations should consider employing.

Click to view fact sheet. Conducting Effective Bullying & Harassment Investigations Fact Sheet

Bullying and Harassment of Staff 

The harassment of staff for organisations is becoming a common place occurrence. Staff are quite rightly expected to behave professionally and ethically in all interactions with customers.

It is becoming increasingly difficult for staff however to maintain their composure when being harassed, abused or being treated in a hostile and offensive manner.

We have developed a sign for organisations to consider when having to deal with these type of situations.

It should be noted however that the first action of any organisation with a customer is to try and resolve any concerns in a collaborative manner however if your organisations efforts are to no avail and customers become threatening or abusive you have a right to put in place some parameters to this type of behavior.

The following attachment goes some way of attempting to address this situation Staff_Harrassment

If you have any questions please email steve@proactivecm.com.au

Social Media Cases

Social media in the workplace requires strict control via the use of effective and lawful policies to ensure that damage does not occur to an individual or your organisation.

Staff will need to be made aware of the policy inclusive of training on expectations of the policies existence.

It should be noted and staff made aware that your organisations social media does extend beyond an employee’s ordinary working hours and into their private time.


Case Study - O’Keefe v William Muir’s Pty Ltd T/A Troy Williams the Good Guys (2011)


Effective ways to preventing and identify bullying behaviour in your workplace

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), laws impose a duty on both employers and employees to provide a safe workplace.

As we are all ware workplace bullying can lead to serious harm and can have a devastating effect on the workplace. Any breach of OHS laws could potentially have a devastating effect on the workplace and could potentially lead to prosecution by work cover authorities.

As a mature organisation you would have in place robust policies and procedures in place to ensure that staff are aware of what constitutes bullying and how you would address this issue if it was to arise.

Below you will find a checklist on how to determine whether bullying and harassment is occurring in your workplace and measures to take eradicate any concerns.


Bullying and Harassment Process

When staff raise a concern or a complaint in regards to bullying and harassment what is your process in dealing with this matter?

This article looks at how to handle a complaint raised by a staff member who is allegedly being bullied and harassed however they wish you to act and not use their name i.e. they are demanding action and also they are requesting that your discussion with them remains confidential. Kay