It is the PCBU’s responsibility to provide a safe workplace. When someone is being bullied, discriminated against or harassed in the workplace it can affect them not only at work, but also in their private life.
Being new to the workplace does not mean you should be treated unfairly. Instances of bullying should be reported to your supervisor/manager. You should not be made to feel uncomfortable in the workplace at any time.
Workplace bullying is when one person or a group of people intentionally and repeatedly upset or hurt another person. Bullying may come from a colleague, supervisor or client/customer.
Workplace bullying can be obvious and aggressive. Examples may include:
Violence, assault and stalking are extreme forms of bullying that can constitute a criminal offence. Such behaviour should be reported directly to the police.
Covert (hidden) behaviour that undermines, treats people less favourably or takes control away from others may also be bullying.
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advance or request of sexual favours or unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. This can be a single event or repeated events.
Discrimination is the unequal treatment of a person or persons because of a certain characteristic or quality they possess or do not possess. For example; race, sex, marital status, pregnancy or disability.
What to do?
In the first instance you should approach your supervisor or manager and inform them of what is happening. If you feel uncomfortable with this you are encouraged to approach your human resource officer or union representative.
You should check if your employer has a policy and complaint resolution procedure for workplace bullying.
In these types of situations you are also encouraged to keep written records of the incidents.
SafeWork SA can help investigate workplace bullying, as under WHS laws workplace bullying is treated like any other risk or hazard. Please contact the SafeWork SA Help Centre for further assistance.
Bullying, discrimination or harassment on other grounds, such as disability, race, gender, age, sexuality, pregnancy and marital status are also covered under the South Australian Equal Opportunity Act 1986 (SA). You are encouraged to contact the Equal Opportunity Commission or phone it on (08) 8207 1977 or for country callers 1800 188 163.
Last updated: 7 January, 2013