Bullying is repeated unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or group of workers that creates a risk to health and safety. In most cases, this behaviour is persistent and happens over a period of time.
Bullying can take many forms, such as publicly humiliating someone, verbal abuse or spreading malicious rumours or gossip.
Bullying can be verbal or in writing, including online. It can be carried out by more than one person and be experienced by individuals as well as groups of people.
Bullying can be directed downwards (from supervisors/managers to workers), sideways (between workers) or upwards (workers to supervisors/managers).
In assessing whether behaviour is unreasonable, you should consider if an impartial person observing the situation would think it’s acceptable to behave that way.
The World Health Organisation defines stress as “the reaction people may have when presented with demands and pressures that are not matched to their knowledge and abilities and which challenge their ability to cope”.
Stress can occur in a wide range of situations, but is often made worse when employees feel they have little support from supervisors and colleagues or little control over their work.
Confidential staff counselling is available to all University employees free of charge. The aim of the service is to provide timely counselling and support to employees who have work or non work related concerns or issues.
Authorised by the Director, Human Resources
3 October, 2013