Bullying & Harassment

Repeated, unreasonable or inappropriate behaviour directed towards a worker, or group of workers, that creates a risk to health and safety. Bullying is defined by the effect of the behaviour, even though there may not be an intent to bully.

Examples of Overt Bullying:

  • Abusive, insulting or offensive language
  • Behaviour or language that frightens, humiliates, belittles or degrades including criticism that is delivered with yelling and screaming
  • Inappropriate comments about a person's appearance, lifestyle or their family
  • Teasing or regularly making someone the brunt of pranks or jokes
  • Interfering with a person's personal effects or work equipment
  • Physical assault or threats


Examples of Covert Bullying:

  • Unreasonably overloading a person with work
  • Setting timelines that are difficult to achieve or constantly changing deadlines
  • Setting tasks that are beyond a person's skill level
  • Ignoring or isolating a person
  • Deliberately denying access to information
  • Unfair treatment in relation to accessing entitlements such as leave or training


Effects of Bullying:

  • Stress, anxiety, sleep disturbance
  • Panic attacks or impaired ability to make decisions
  • Incapacity to work, concentration problems, loss of self confidence and reduced output and performance
  • Depression or sense of isolation and in extreme cases, risk of suicide
  • Physical injury and/or
  • Reduced quality of home and family life


What to do:

Contact the IEU

  • We can assist in developing strategies to deal with the person
  • We can assist in drafting letters
  • We can assist in making a complaint to Worksafe


  • Keep a record of the incidents
  • Exactly what was the behaviour involved?
  • When did it happen, including the date and time?
  • How did it make you feel?


  • Tell the person concerned that when they did X, it made you feel X and ask them to cease that behaviour
  • If the behaviour continues you need to make the approach more formal, and
  • If it continues after this a Formal complaint needs to be made to the School Management Team, which would include reference to the informal and formal approaches you have made to the bully.
  • We can assist in drafting both the informal and formal letters.
  • If you feel unable to approach the person yourself, we can assist.