Bullying is not acceptable workplace behaviour and it should not be tolerated in any form.

Workplace bullying should be treated like any other health and safety hazard. As part of normal workplace risk management procedures, bullying incidents, practices or potential for bullying should be identified, assessed for risk, and steps taken to minimise the risk. Follow-on procedures should ensure bullying does not occur or continue.

Bullying can adversely affect the health and safety of employees. It is unacceptable under the Occupational (Workplace )Health and Safety Acts and Regulations. The legislation requires employers and employees to maintain a safe and healthy workplace. Supervisors are encouraged to participate in developing safe work procedures to deal with bullying, and providing it is safe to do so, should report incidents of bullying to an appropriate person at the workplace.

What is workplace bullying?

One definition of workplace bullying is: “the repeated less favourable treatment of a person by another or others in the workplace, which may be considered unreasonable and inappropriate workplace practice. It includes behaviour that intimidates, offends, degrades or humiliates a worker.”

Another definition is: ‘Workplace bullying means any behaviour that is repeated, systematic and directed towards an employee or group of employees that a reasonable person, having regard to the circumstances, would expect to victimise, humiliate, undermine or threaten and which creates a risk to health and safety.’