What is bullying?

Repeated behaviour, by a person, including the person's employer or a co-worker or group of co-workers of the person that -

(a) is unwelcome and unsolicited; and

(b) the person considers to be offensive, intimidating, humiliating or threatening; and

(c) a reasonable person would consider being offensive, humiliating, intimidating or threatening

Example of workplace bullying include:

  • abusing a person loudly;
  • repeated threats of dismissal/punishment;
  • constant ridicule and being put down;
  • leaving offensive messages;
  • sabotaging another person's work
  • excluding and isolating a person from activities;
  • persistent and unjustified criticisms;
  • humiliating a person through gestures, sarcasm, criticism and insults, often in front of management or other workers;
  • spreading gossip or false, malicious rumours about a person with an intent to cause the person harm

Workplace harassment is not about reasonable management actions, taken in a reasonable way such as:

  • performance management processes;
  • a decision not to provide a promotion;
  • disciplinary actions;
  • allocated work in compliance with policies;
  • business processes, eg restructuring.

Being disappointed about a decision or an outcome, or disagreeing with the outcome of the decision-making process does not constitute workplace harassment.