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Call for Government Intervention on Workplace Bullying

28 November 2012 at 2:48 pm
Staff Reporter
A parliamentary report about workplace bullying in Australia has recommended the Federal Government establish a new national advisory service to provide advice, assistance and resolution services to employers and workers.

Staff Reporter | 28 November 2012 at 2:48 pm


Call for Government Intervention on Workplace Bullying
28 November 2012 at 2:48 pm

A new parliamentary report has been released into workplace bullying in Australia. Picture:

A parliamentary report about workplace bullying in Australia has recommended the Federal Government establish a new national advisory service to provide advice, assistance and resolution services to employers and workers.

The report is released by the Australian Parliament Standing Committee on Education and Employment, which heard more than 300 submissions from organisations and employees about the human toll that workplace bullying takes.

The report says the chief concern of witnesses was the lack of clarity about what to do and where to go for help.

It contains 23 recommendations including the adoption of a new national definition of ‘workplace bullying’, a workplace bullying ‘hotline’ and a legislative and regulatory framework.

The report is a result of a Parliamentary Inquiry into the issue of workplace bullying, announced by the Gillard Government in May 2012 to address community and public concerns.

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Bill Shorten welcomed the release of the report and said he hopes it will promote a national conversation about the issue.

“Bullying and harassment have no place in any Australian workplace,” Shorten said.

Shorten said that the inquiry into the issue of workplace bullying was important because it “cuts across all industries and all jurisdictions”.

National depression Not for Profit, beyondblue, welcomed the release of the report saying it paved the way for more mentally healthy workplaces across the country.

“The findings of this report reveal there is still a lot the Commonwealth government can do to reduce workplace bullying in Australia significantly and to improve outcomes for victims,” beyondblue chief executive Kate Carnell said.

“We encourage the government and Australian workplaces to consider the report seriously and to ask what they can do to reduce workplace bullying.”

Carnell said that an important factor in developing a mentally healthy workplace was to eliminate any form of bullying.

beyondblue said it strongly encouraged the government to consider the Committee’s recommendations around developing new training programs for employers and employees, as well as drawing on existing resources.

Minister Shorten and Carnell both paid tribute to Damien and Rae Panlock, who have campaigned for tough workplace bullying laws since their daughter Brodie took her life in 2006 after being bullied at her Melbourne workplace.

“One only needs to look at the tragic case of Brodie Panlock and the suffering that her death has caused her family to know how devastating workplace bullying can be,” Carnell said.

Shorten said that the government will consider the recommendations in detail.

“We look forward to working with jurisdictions, employer and employee organisations and workers across the broader community to create safe, productive and bully-free workplaces in Australia.”

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  • Anonymous Anonymous says:

    I agree that finding good advice on what to do is hard. If your organisation doesn’t have anything. has guides about how to respond to bullying including documenting it.

  • Anonymous Anonymous says:

    The Government is responsible for alot of the bullying within their own employment sector. (Government Workers) I worked as a probationary officer and was subjected to workplace bullying/abuse at the hands of a group of women, which included the management. (croynism and nepotism are a MAJOR ISSUE within the Government organisation that I worked for).
    As a probationary worker for the Government you have no legal support to assist you with your complaints of bullying. The PSA Union assisted me with a little support they could but failed to resolve the issue, IRC ruled that they had no juristriction to hear my case because I was on a probation, Fair Work Australia could not deal with my case because I was a Government employee. I wrote to MPs and other organisations for support, but none was offered and my complaint was forwarded to the Minister of Justice and again no support was given, Julie Gillards office passed my complaint onto the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, his response informed of the information written above (no help) and that an inquiry into workplace bullying was being done….I have all the documentation that supports and proves my complaint, I also summons all my personal documentation from this organisation, there is no evidence of wrong doing by myself and no investigating reports / follow up documentation into my complaints recorded. My case resulted in the people responsible for bullying me being given promotions / transfers / etc and myself being sacked. So in my opinion if the Government are addressing workplace bullying they should start by cleaning up their own backyard.

  • Anonymous Anonymous says:

    Our Bureau does nothing to support or protect the victims. I am currently in middle of a claim and I am appalled at the lack of privacy, respect, protection and information that I as a victim get. All policy and guidelines relate to the perpetrator but there is absolutely nothing for the victim. Of what information I have found myself so far my workplace has failed to adhere to.

    I would never ever again go through this process as I believe the process has been almost as damaging to my mental health as the bullying was in the first place.

    This needs serious reviewing and a stronger ‘no tolerance stance’. The time that it takes to get a resolution, which we as a victim are apparently not entitled to find out, is too long.

  • Anonymous Anonymous says:

    I am a total wreck after 12+ months of bullying in the workplace. I see no light at the end of tunnel and the law favors the bully.

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