Receiving Unreasonable Behaviour Causing Risk To Heath & Safety
Bullying occurs in the workplace environment where an employee or group of workers repeatedly receive unreasonable behaviour, to the point that it there is a potential risk to health and safety.
Unreasonable behaviour can be interpreted as behaviour that a reasonable person might see as unreasonable in the circumstances of the incident. However, common examples of “unreasonable” behaviour include victimising, humiliating, intimidating or threatening. This may be portrayed in the workplace as teasing or practical jokes, pressuring someone to behave inappropriately, excluding someone from work-related events and may also include unreasonable work demands.
Bullying Differs From Discrimination
Bullying behaviour may not involve ‘adverse action’, that is, it may not have to be related to a person’s characteristics.
On the other hand, discrimination includes ‘adverse action’, for instance, firing or demoting a person due to their race, religion, or sex.
Protection from Workplace Bullying
There are national anti-bullying laws that apply to certain workers in Australia.
Firstly, to apply for an order to cease workplace bullying, a person must be a worker, which includes:
Secondly, workers are only covered by national anti-bullying laws where their employer is a ‘constitutionally covered business’, which is a business or undertaking conducted by a:
Exemption from Workplace Bullying Laws
Workers employed in the following types of businesses are not covered by the national anti-bullying laws:
The Fair Work Commission may dismiss applications related to Australia’s national security.