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How to identify workplace bullying

31 August 2016 By ASU

Since 1 January 2014 the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has been empowered to issue orders to employers to stop bullying that is happening in their workplaces. It may sound like a simple matter, but there are strict criteria that must be met before the FWC can determine bullying is actually occurring. The ASU has created a poster for workplace noticeboards so everyone can be guided on what constitutes workplace bullying for the purposes of the FWC, and that members should not delay in getting advice from the Union if they believe they are being bullied.

asu poster what is workplace bullying 1200pxw>> Download and print the ASU poster for your workplace (2.89 MB)

The ASU hopes that in creating this poster and having it displayed prominently in workplaces, we can go some way to deterring would-be bullies from acting in the first place and stopping current bullying behaviour from continuing. With more people aware of what constitutes bullying, there can be no excuses from perpetrators.

The ASU recognises that bullies can exist in any part of a workforce, so we also encourage our members to ensure we are all behaving ethically towards each other at work - and everywhere else, for that matter!

What is workplace bullying?

[Text from the ASU poster]

Bullying is repeated and unreasonable behaviour that creates a risk to health and safety.

Bullying behaviour may take the following forms:

  • aggressive or intimidating conduct
  • belittling or humiliating comments
  • spreading malicious rumours
  • teasing, practical jokes or ‘initiation ceremonies’
  • exclusion from work-related events
  • unreasonable work expectations, including too much or too little work, or work below or beyond a worker’s skill level
  • displaying offensive material
  • pressure to behave in an inappropriate manner

Bullying occurs when:

  1. a person (or a group) repeatedly behaves unreasonably towards a worker (or a group) at work, AND
  2. that unreasonable behaviour creates a risk to health and safety.

* Bullying doesn’t include reasonable management action carried out in a reasonable manner.

If you believe you are being bullied at work, don’t delay, contact your Union delegate or ASU Branch for advice:

>> Download and print the ASU poster for your workplace (2.89 MB)


More information on workplace bullying at the Fair Work Commission website.


Contact Details
Name: ASU National Office
Telephone: 03 9342 1400