Bullying occurs when:
- a person or a group of people repeatedly behaves unreasonably towards a worker or a group of workers at work; and
- the behaviour creates a risk to health and safety.
Examples of bullying behaviour could include, repeated behaviours, such as:
- aggressive or intimidating conduct;
- belittling or humiliating comments;
- spreading malicious rumors;
- teasing, practical jokes or “initiation ceremonies”;
- exclusion from work-related activities;
- 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.
To qualify as bullying, the behaviour must be repeated and unreasonable and must create a risk to health and safety.
Reasonable management action carried out in a reasonable manner does not constitute bullying.
Reasonable management action may include:
- performance management processes;
- disciplinary action for misconduct;
- informing a worker about unsatisfactory work performance or inappropriate work behaviour;
- directing a worker to perform duties in keeping with their job;
- maintaining reasonable workplace goals and standards.
Bullying or reports of bullying should be appropriately investigated and dealt with by an employer.