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.
Work Place Standards Tasmania produces publications that give guidance for dealing with bullying and stress.
This publication covers the effects of bullying on WHS and suggests practical ways to manage and reduce this.
WorkSafe Victoria produces a useful information know as the Stresswise- preventing Work- related stress, A guide for employers in the public service. While this is not a Tasmanian endorsed publication, it does provides worthwhile and sound advice.
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 related concerns or issues.
This service is for work-related matters. Should employees wish to see a counsellor for non-work related issues they may do so at their own cost.
Employees who fail to provide 24 hours notice of their inability to attend a scheduled counselling session will personally incur an account for that session.
Employees will be required to present their current Staff ID Card to the Service Provider at the first appointment. Employee ID numbers will be retained by the Provider. Statistical data will be forwarded to the University's Strategic HR Unit, but will be in such a form that ensures client confidentiality.
Authorised by the Director, Human Resources
20 May, 2013