Introduction to workplace bullying

Workplace bullying can happen in any workplace. Under certain conditions, anyone could be capable of bullying-type behaviour. On these pages employers can find out how to prevent and respond to workplace bullying.

Workplace bullying definition

Workplace bullying is repeated, unreasonable behaviour directed at an employee or group of employees that creates a risk to health and safety.

The effect of workplace bullying

Workplace bullying can have an impact on an individual’s health and affect their ability to do their job. It can also contribute to loss of productivity, staff turnover, absenteeism, low morale and financial costs.

WorkSafe's workplace bullying guidance can help employers implement measures to eliminate or reduce workplace bullying, so far as is reasonably practicable. The guidance also provides practical information for employers on what to do when a bullying issue is raised.

This guidance will help employers and employees comply with their duties under the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act). Health and safety representatives (HSRs) can also use this information.

The focus of this guidance is to prevent and respond to workplace bullying from an occupational health and safety (OHS) perspective. Laws and agencies other than WorkSafe Victoria may also have a role in responding to workplace bullying, and those agencies can also provide employers and employees with advice and assistance. You’ll find cards at the bottom of this page linking to other resources to help with workplace bullying.

Threats to harm someone, acts of violence, physical and sexual assault, property damage and stalking are criminal matters that should be referred to the police.