Bullying is repeated unreasonable behaviour towards you as an employee or as part of a group of employees.
You can be bullied by a supervisor or by a co-worker or even by a client.
Bullying can take a variety of forms, including:
- Unreasonable demands, petty rules, targets or key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Compulsory overtime, unfair rostering or allocation of work
- Constant intrusive surveillance or monitoring
- Having no say in how one’s job is done
- Abusive language, shouting and intimidation
- Being ignored, excluded, criticised or undermined
- Being threatened with the sack or demotion
Bullying creates a risk to your health and safety.
It can lead to loss of sleep, muscle ache, nausea, depression, anxiety, headaches, digestive difficulties, irritability and anger.
If you show any of these signs then you really need to do something about it.
The first thing is to see a doctor. You need to put your own health first.
The second thing is to tell your Union or an elected Health and Safety Representative at your workplace about it. Your Union can advise and assist you in progressing the matter and making sure the bullying behavior stops and your workplace is safe.
And the third is to tell your employer.
Harassment and discrimination
Bullying may also take the form of harassment on grounds of discrimination.
That is, bullying can be accompanied by you being targeted at work on the grounds of your gender, ethnicity, age, health, sexuality, religion, or a number of other grounds.
Workers who are experiencing discriminatory treatment can lodge an equal opportunity complaint.
Bullying may also come in the form of sexual harassment.
If you are being sexually intimidated or harassed at work, as well as following the above procedures, you should notify the police.
Any harassment at work that involves being physically abused should be reported to the police immediately and you have a right to leave the workplace for your own safety.
Contact the union
The VHPA takes your safety at work very seriously. Please contact VHPA Member Assist if you need any advice or assistance – ph 1300 322 917.