Australians spend a large portion of their day at their job, which is why it is vital to have a safe place to work and ensure that bullying or harassment is dealt with if it ever arises. If you believe that you have experienced bullying or harassment at work there are a number of things you can do, including reporting it to SafeWork NSW, reporting it to the Fair Work Commission or under certain circumstances pursuing a workers compensation claim for bullying or harassment.
What is bullying at work?
Workplace bullying can occur at work when:
- A person or group of people repeatedly act unreasonably towards another person or group (this could be victimising, humiliating, intimidating or threatening)
- This behaviour results in a risk to health or safety (either physical or psychological risk)
Some examples of workplace bullying include:
- Abusive or offensive language directed at the victim
- Physically or psychologically aggressive or intimidating behaviour
- Belittling or humiliating someone
- Sexual harassment or unwanted physical contact
- Exclusion from workplace activities
- Abuse of power
- Unjustified criticism or complaints.
Any one of these, particularly if repeated and results in a risk to health and safety could be considered workplace bullying, and be a justification for pursuing a compensation claim for bullying or harassment.
How To Make A Workers Compensation Claim For Bullying or Harassment?
Pursuing a claim for workplace bullying or harassment isn’t easy, however, it could be a very important step to ensuring that this type of behaviour stops and give you the financial support to recover from your injuries. There are a few steps to take if you are considering making a claim for bullying or harassment:
Confirm that you are eligible for workplace bullying compensation
In order to prove that you are eligible you must be able to show:
- That the bullying or harassment led to a physical or psychological injury or illness supported by medical evidence
- Your injury or illness was directly the result of the workplace.
>Ensure that your injury was not the result of reasonable management action
Sometimes an employer will take action that can be considered reasonable even if it has adverse effects on the employee. This might include making decisions about poor performance, taking disciplinary action or directing and controlling the way work is carried out. If this is carried out in a reasonable way then it is not considered bullying. If in doubt, speaking to a professional lawyer that can help you decide whether you have a case to build on.
Gather medical evidence
One of the key things that you will need to do to prove the impact of your illness or injury is to gather medical evidence of your condition. Going to a doctor can help you determine the extent of your illness and advise on the appropriate steps to assist with your recovery.
Check your anti-bullying policy
Check if your company has an anti-bullying policy, find out the procedure for reporting this kind of behaviour and report it to an immediate supervisor, manager or human resources representative. If you are experiencing bullying at work it can feel intimidating or unsafe to take these kinds of actions, so it is important to only do what you are comfortable with and get professional help and advice wherever you can.
Seek professional advice
If you believe you have a case or would like to find out if you would be eligible for compensation, reach out to a workplace compensation lawyer as soon as you can. They can advise you of your options, what you might be eligible for and the next actions to take to make a workers compensation claim for bullying or harassment.