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Trojan Recruitment Group does not currently have a physical office in this location, however is serviced by our Brisbane Branch. Trojan Recruitment Group does not currently have a physical office in this location, however is serviced by our Melbourne Branch. The new anti-bullying measures, in the form of recent amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) which commence from 1 January 2014, create new avenues of recourse for a worker who reasonably believes him or herself to be the subject of workplace bullying.
The new laws are significant and have far reaching implications for employers, therefore employers should familiarise themselves with the new bullying laws.
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Many of the products and services we advertise and recommend on this site provide us with an affiliate commission for referrals. Workplace bullying has been a chronic problem in many industries in particular; healthcare, education, childcare and not-for-profits. It is not bullying to demand that employees reach standards of performance which are reasonable and for which the employee has the skills and training to meet. Wrongfully, the bullied employee might be required to perform an excessive work level, be isolated or threatened by a fellow employee. What is “reasonable” is commonly defined in law as “reasonable in all circumstances” – an open ended definition if ever there was one. What must be of real concern to any bullied employee is that the workplace bullying is actually an orchestrated attempt to deny that bullied employee an employment right or entitlement. There are many aspects of workplace bullying which entitle a bullied employee far greater rights to legal action than merely a bullying complaint under section 789FC and 789FF of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). There can be no gross generalizations; however, an application should be made at last resort by bullied employees who have no other remedies to pursue.
If you do decide to make a claim, you should be aware that you will do it at your own expense. A claim should only be made where you are confident in your technical proficiency in your role and have clear evidence that the criticism-bullying is wholly unwarranted and is repetitive. It can be a mistake to lodge a workplace bullying complaint to the Fair Work Commission if other more suitable or appropriate remedies are available.
If you feel like you are being bullied at work and wish to lodge a bullying complaint, it should be checked by a lawyer.
Case Note 7 Client G is employed by local manufacturing company which is taken over by a multinational. Case Note 6 Client F applies for a position via a recruitment company. Case Note 5 Client E offered employment as an assistant to a firm of accountants. Case Note 4 Client D is a part-time employee working shift work part-time at on weekends, earning valuable income (double time). Managing Workplace Bullying: What Not To DoMay 13, 2014 by AIMComments are offWith 15% to 25% of workers experiencing workplace bullying, there is no doubt that bullying is an important management issue that simply cannot be ignored. As psychologist, best-selling author and media commentator, Evelyn Field, discussed at AIM Brisbane recently, bullying is bad for business – productivity goes down, staff retention is impacted, absenteeism increases, and most importantly, victims can be left traumatised. Unfortunately, while nobody likes being bullied, witnessing bullying or being a bully, it continues to be a regular occurrence in Australian workplaces. Drawing on some of the research and insights outlined in Evelyn’s presentation and tips in her book Bully Blocking at Work, it’s obvious that there are a range of things managers can do to protect workers and organisations – but sometimes it’s equally useful to know what you’re doing wrong.
While your business may be proud of its strict anti-bullying policies, outlined in your employee contracts and workplace rules, this is not enough. Many people are promoted to management roles as a result of expertise in a particular field – but this doesn’t necessarily qualify them for people management.
If somebody in your workplace is accused of bullying, do you simply have them watch an educational anti-bullying DVD and release them back into the workplace? According to Evelyn Field, 75% of bullying victims experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms – this shows that the effects of bullying can be huge and far-reaching. These are just some of the management practices that may need revising in your workplace to combat bullying.
Evelyn Field is a practising psychologist, professional speaker, best-selling author and regular media commentator.

About the author: Pamela Lutgen-Sandvik is Assistant Professor of Communication at University of New Mexico. A much greater focus on skilled jobs, an associated increase in young people participating in education and the ageing of the population, are just some of the developments that have contributed to a workforce which is very different today. The new brand reflects the company’s successful evolution into a highly differentiated, customer-focused company. It is unlawful bullying to harass and intimidate a fellow employee in the workplace repeatedly and without justification to achieve an ulterior motive and creates a risk to health and safety.
It is not just managers who might bully an employee; it could be a competitor for a job promotion or the like.
To avoid doubt, subsection (1) does not apply to reasonable management action carried out in a reasonable manner. For example if a company’s business is in decline – sales might be down – the management might impose unrealistic sales targets only to later bully the employees not meeting those targets which are demonstrably unachievable. Any bullied employee needs to have a good hard look at what’s really going on before jumping to the conclusion that they merely need to make a bullying complaint at the Fair Work Commission in the hope that the Commission will be able to help them. A common defence to any claim of workplace bullying will be to attack your ability to perform tasks efficiently. It’s important to realise that anybody in the workplace can be a bully – you could be bullied by your boss, a colleague or even one of your own employees who you manage. Unfortunately, there are lots of managers who simply do not have the skills or training to deal with social issues. But the important thing to remember is that workplace bullying is a serious issue that needs to be taken seriously – only then can change be implemented to reduce its prevalence at work. She is a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society, Convener of the Therapeutic Practitioners Special Interest Group of the International Association for Workplace Bullying and Harassment, and on the advisory council of the National Centre Against Bullying. That motive may be to attempt to humiliate or force the bullied employee to resign without being paid proper entitlements and where there is no valid reason for that employee to do so.
Sometimes it can be done by a manager needing a scapegoat upon whom to shed blame for the manager’s incompetence or error. It may well be low cost to pay $67.20 to lodge a complaint but if the company has a high powered “gung ho” HR Department the battle may be long and difficult, stressful and exhausting. That is a very good aim, but stop and think before you claim, can the bully really be stopped by a fair and impartial independent tribunal which is not permitted to be your advocate but can decide an outcome after a lengthy process? Don’t just assume your staff are upholding the policy – bring it to their attention, highlight its importance and make it an issue that is taken seriously. Don’t be blinded by somebody’s role or level of authority – bullying is bullying, no matter what their position or job role.
It is your responsibility as a manager to ensure emerging leaders are equipped to combat and deal with bullying.
While they might have ticked the box in your workplace health and safety procedures, proper anti-bullying training and action needs to be treated seriously.
For example, you may need to consider referring them for counselling, giving them time off, or simply validating their experiences. Her research program focuses on negative communication at work, workplace bullying, and generalized harassment. We take this responsibility very seriously and endeavor to only promote quality products and services from reputable merchants and providers. Being unrepresented by lawyers when facing a highly qualified lawyer who is a company HR Manager can make the contest rather one sided.
Too often bullied employees find that the tables are turned upon them and that they are held to be the guilty party. Workplace bullying is repetitive, enduring abuse that escalates over time and results in serious harm to those targeted, to witnessing coworkers, and to the organizations that allow it to persist. If you are dissatisfied (or very pleased) with the quality of the products or the service provided, please contact us and let us know about your experience. Statistics published by Fair Work Commission show that very few unfair dismissal applicants continue in their employment, with 1% of employees reinstated, even though reinstatement is the main aim of the Act (source: Fair Work Commission website). If that happens to you, you will feel doubly distressed, having had two losses in quick succession. Bullying runs the gamut of hostile communication and behavior and can consist of excluding and ignoring certain workers, throwing things and destroying work, public humiliation and embarrassment, screaming and swearing, and occasionally even physical assault. If you are on your own at the Fair Work Commission it may just be that an apology is given as a remedy.
Furthermore, if you later try and make an unfair dismissal claim it will be held against you that you had absolutely no basis to do so because the Fair Work Commission has had a hearing and you were found to have lost the bullying complaint case.
Exposed workers report that bullying goes on and on, lasting for months and—in many cases—even years.Research characterizes affected workers as powerless in the face of more powerful bullies. If you think that other employees who have witnessed the bullying will be prepared to support you, you would be wise to get a written statement from them before you commence proceedings.

Workers faced with relentless attacks also say they feel unable to protect themselves against or stop bullying.
Too often other employees feel reluctant to speak up in favour of the bullied employee, less they get sent down the same path. That is not to say that you should not pursue the claim, but rather you should ideally do so with written evidence. Pamela Lutgen-Sandvik, Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of New Mexico, suggests that workers may have more power than they think.
Even though workers say they feel like there is nothing they can do to stop abuse, they take a stand by leaving the workgroup or organization, or they can fight back by gathering peer support and taking collective action, documenting abuse and allying themselves with powerful others, withholding work or information, and directly confronting bullies.
In most cases, they use a combination of these tactics.At first glance, it may appear that leaving is simply running away or giving up. However, the mass departure of workers in the face of bullying is marked by anger, disgust, and a desire to “send a message” to those in power. Amy, who worked in the sports fishing industry, said she wanted her resignation to “send a message to the bully. He'd debase them, and blame them, and debase them, and blame them, and he chipped away at them, and chipped away at them, until they both found other jobs. Other stories are filled with tales of quitting, intentions and threats to quit, transfers and requests for transfers, and even helping each other get out—usually with the goal of sending a message or punishing the organization for allowing abuse to continue.
Additionally, those left behind make use of the high staff turnover and hold it up to decision makers as proof that there is something very wrong in the organization.
If bullying-affected workers have a theme song, it is David Allan Coe's“Take This Job and Shove It.” The song title resonates with employees who have been bullied, since many quit specifically to communicate their frustration, disgust, and anger, or to punish the organization by permanently withdrawing their experience, knowledge, and skills. The risk is even more pronounced in workplaces where employees are systematically and persistently abused even before they speak out. Fighting back against bullies at work, often bullying managers or supervisors, can result in further harm to workers. If they go to upper-management, they can be accused of going outside the chain of command, although in most cases, doing so is crucial to ending bullying. Workers who agree something must be done and start documenting instances of abuse can provide support for workers' claims, encourage others to speak out, and promote plans for collective resistance. However, these workers can then be called disloyal, troublemakers, crazy, disgruntled, or anti-team players, and may even be blamed for making things worse by others who silently hope abuse will go away.Despite the risks, workers fight to change hostile work environments. They fight to end bullying both in groups with their coworkers and individually without support of others.
When workers resist collectively, even in the absence of labor unions, organizational decision makers more often take action to stop abuse than in cases where workers fight back individually.
In fact, when those who are not being bullied speak out alongside those who are, change is more likely to occur. For example, of those who collectively resisted in the study, none were fired, but 20% of those individually resisting were fired.
It seems that collective resistance provides a safer and more powerful way for workers to speak out against bullying at their jobs. In many cases, individuals resist without knowledge that others in their workgroup are also making complaints. In some cases, this buildup of individual reports gets the attention of upper-management.Whether resisting collectively or individually, two tactics seem ineffective at stopping abuse.
Confronting the bully probably aggravates rather than improves the situation, and withholding work or information may go unnoticed. On the other hand, there are tactics that more often lead to upper-management taking corrective action. Organizational change occurs most often when workers use three tactics in combination: (1) informal verbal or formal written complaints to organizational authorities, (2) written documentation of bullying (times, dates, concrete details), and (3) expert opinion (published research on workplace bullying). Although change often takes months to materialize, cases where workers fight back by going up the formal chain of command and working within the organization's grievance system are most often associated with ending abuse.Organizational authorities seem to favorably respond to written documentation. Documentation—of bullying incidents and the potential costs of bullying for the organization—is an invaluable tool for upper-management. Upper-management needs this information for investigation and to take actions deemed necessary to end abuse. Written documentation is even more convincing when combined with published research that verifies and names such occurrences as workplace bullying. Bullying research names the problem and verifies that it is a real, confirmable phenomenon and not simply an overreaction from thin-skinned employees. When targets and witnesses collectively resist, work through the formal problem-solving systems available to them, and provide decision makers with documented evidence of abuse, this combination often moves decision makers to action.

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