Workplace bullying

Workplace bullying is repeated and unreasonable behaviour directed towards an employee or a group of employees that creates a risk to health and safety. It does not include reasonable management action. See Chapter 7 of the Industrial Relations Act 2016 for more.

Overt bullying

Overt bullying includes:

  • personal insults
  • physical attacks
  • sexual harassment
  • torment through threats and fear
  • unreasonable anger, threats, abuse and obscenities
  • shouting and swearing at colleagues (either in public or private)
  • belittling, humiliating or ridiculing colleagues through criticism and sarcasm
  • inappropriate comments about career prospects, job security or performance

Covert bullying

Covert bullying includes:

  • excessive criticism
  • excessive supervision (micro-managing, monitoring everything)
  • freezing out, ignoring, excluding and isolating
  • personal insults and name-calling
  • taking credit for someone else’s work
  • blaming or implicating others for your mistakes
  • not listening to another person’s point of view
  • cutting across people in conversation
  • spreading malicious rumours
  • overruling an individual's authority without warning or proper discussion
  • removing whole areas of work responsibility from a person
  • reducing a person’s job to routine tasks which are well below their skills and capabilities
  • setting impossible targets and objectives, or changing targets without telling the person
  • withholding information deliberately which the person requires to do their job effectively

Cyber bullying

Cyber bullying includes:

  • posting hurtful messages, images or videos online
  • repeatedly sending unwanted messages online
  • creating fake social networking profiles or websites that are hurtful