Update on Workplace Bullying

Posted by Luke Mitchell on 02 June 2015

Legislation related to workplace bullying was updated and came into force on 1 January 2014.  The legislation set out the rights of Australian workers and the responsibilities of Australian business owners related to preventing and eradicating bullying in the workplace.  

However, when viewing the statistics released by Fair Work Australia covering the period of October to December 2014, it would appear that the instance of bullying and harassing behaviour in our workplaces is alive and well. 

The outcome of the Applications dealt with during the October – December 2014 period were as follows:

Number of applications for an order to stop bullying at work - 169

Applications withdrawn early in case management process - 41

Applications withdrawn prior to proceedings - 25

Applications resolved during the course of proceedings - 43

Applications withdrawn after a conference or hearing and before decision - 27

Applications finalised by a decision - 20

Of the above Applications, workers alleged the unreasonable behaviour was engaged in by:

Their manager - 121

Another worker - 28

A group of workers - 11

A subordinate - 1

Another individual (not employed or engaged by their employer or principal ie a visitor  to the workplace - 8              

The above statistics show 121 employees from a total of 169 stop bullying applications dealt with by Fair Work in a three month period nominated their direct manager as being the perpetrator of bullying. Given that only a small percentage of people actually pursue a matter to the point of lodging a formal application with the FWC, it highlights the ongoing work required by businesses to provide education for all staff members on their rights and responsibilities towards each other.

Dooley & Associates can assist with all Employment Law matters.  If you would like to discuss an employment situation in your workplace, please contact our specialist team on 1300 306 335 or info@dooley.com.au .