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  • David Toll

Bullying in your workplace

Updated: May 7

I was just reviewing some research material on bullying in the workplace. It struck me that this information was more than 5 years old and yet we still are experiencing the same issues and don't genuinely seem to have progressed towards effectively addressing this issue. The material referred to the fact that Australian workplaces have a poor record in preventing and addressing bullying, harassment and discrimination.

The Australian Workplace Barometer (AWB) conducted by Safework Australia in 2009-2011 found that 6.9% of respondents had been the victims of workplace bullying in the previous 6 months alone. This was compared to equivalent international standards of 1-4%, ranking Australia the 6th highest rate of bullying when compared with 34 European countries. The same AWB survey conducted in 2014-2015 found the percentage of workers who had been the victims of bullying in the previous 6 months had increased to almost 10%. A large amount of these victims were bullied regularly and over an extended period of time, demonstrating the failure of their workplaces to respond adequately.

Bullying, harassment and discrimination are problems present in many Australian workplaces. Are these numbers simply an indication that the managers and supervisors struggle to address the issue or is there a tolerance and an expectation that ultimately people will leave? You just have to look at the media in 2022 and it apparent that our political and business leaders as slow and ineffective in addressing the issue. How is your organisation faring?

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