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Protecting your staff from workplace bullying

Protecting your staff from workplace bullying is necessary in this day and age; just as is protecting your business from potential lawsuits as a result of workplace bullying.

According to the Fair Work Ombudsman, workplace bullying is defined as any repeated behaviour towards an individual or individuals by another individual or individuals that is unreasonable and causes any risk to health or safety.

Understanding the difference between reasonable and unreasonable behaviour is important; not all workplace discrepancies are classified as bullying.

Examples of reasonable behaviour according to Safe Work Australia include:
– Transferring a team member to another department
– Reviewing employee performance
– Discussing unreasonable behaviour conducted by an employee with said employee in a private setting
– Setting clear and reasonable employment goals

Unreasonable behaviour includes:
– Any abusive, derogatory, insulting comments or remarks
– Deliberate and obvious exclusion of an employee/s
– Creating unrealistic and unachievable performance goals and deadlines
– Discrimination and sexual harassment
– Physical violence

Your business should consist of appropriate reporting channels should any incidents of workplace bullying arise to protect those involved and your business. An established procedure should be developed to follow in all instances of bullying. The procedure ought to include easy and confidential reporting methods, mediation and ongoing monitoring of how effective management of the incident has been.


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