Workplace Bullying

Bullying can happen in any workplace. It can have an impact on an individual’s health and affect their ability to do their job.

Workplace bullying is characterised by persistent and repeated negative behaviour directed at an employee that creates a risk to health and safety.

For information and advice for workers and employers to prevent and respond to workplace bullying view VWA’s guide VWA bullying – prevention and response.

How can VWA help?

VWA’s Advisory Service can provide information on bullying and how to prevent it, advice on how to raise the issue of bullying in your workplace or refer the matter to an inspector (where appropriate).

Getting the right help

It’s important to get the right help and, depending on your situation, it might be appropriate for you to seek advice from another agency.

Your rights at work

If your complaint relates to a dispute about performance management or working conditions such as pay or hours of work, contact the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Discrimination

If you’re seeking advice about discrimination on the basis of personal characteristics, sexual harassment or racial or religious vilification, contact the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission or the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Violence or threats of violence

  • Victoria Police - If your allegation of workplace bullying involves assault or threats of assault, we recommend you also contact Victoria Police and inform them of the incident.
  • Centre Against Sexual Assault - This service helps ensure that people who experience sexual assault have access to support. They offer an after hours crisis line and 15 local offices.

For immediate emotional support

  • Lifeline – offers a 24 hour confidential phone service providing emotional support in times of crisis or when callers may be feeling down
  • Beyondblue - provides people with access to information for depression and anxiety related matters.

The Fair Work Commission and workplace bullying

From 1 January 2014, an eligible worker who reasonably believes they have been bullied at work may apply to the Fair Work Commission for an order to stop the workplace bullying.

This is a new and parallel jurisdiction that operates separately to OHS and workers compensation law in Victoria. Contact the Fair Work Commission for further information.

The Fair Work Commission - Termination or unfair dismissal

If your complaint is about unlawful termination or unfair dismissal from your job, contact Fair Work Australia in the first instance.