Defining bullying, harassment and inappropriate behaviour
Workplace bullying or harassment don’t have to be obvious to cause harm. They can happen in a variety of situations and circumstances.
Unless we better understand what behaviour contributes to an environment of bullying and harassment, we can’t change things. The first step is to recognise what we can change.
Learn more about the definitions of bullying, harassment and inappropriate behaviour so you can know better.
Risk factors that can increase the likelihood of bullying include:
Can workplace bullying be an offence under legislation?
Workplace bullying may amount to a breach of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic) where:
- It has created a risk to a person's (including an employee's) health and safety, and the employer has failed to take all reasonably practicable steps to prevent and address it.
- An employee has acted in a way that fails to take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and others at work.
Workplace bullying may also be considered a criminal offence under section 21A of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic), also known as Brodie’s Law, which applies to all forms of serious bullying, including physical, psychological, verbal and cyberbullying.