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How to stop workplace bullying

You must take reasonable steps to recognise, assess and control workplace bullying or you could be held responsible which is known as vicarious liability.

To recognise if bullying is happening in your business, look for signs like sudden unexplained changes in rates of absenteeism, sick leave, staff turnover, grievances, work-related injuries or customer complaints.

Check for any deterioration in workplace relations between staff, clients or managers.

Here are some recommended reasonable steps to reduce the risk of bullying.

  • Develop and promote a written policy which rules out bullying in the workplace.
  • Inform all your staff of what you expect of them.
  • Make sure managers and supervisors know how to promote a safe and fair workplace.
  • Provide awareness training for managers and staff.
  • Know how to handle inappropriate behaviours before they escalate.
  • Have a complaint handling procedure for dealing with problems if they arise
  • Encourage staff to come forward with problems or complaints.
  • Treat complaints seriously, quickly and confidentially.
  • Monitor the workplace culture.
  • Survey staff on workplace bullying or discuss it at staff meetings.

Your staff can attend training for staff and managers at the Equal Opportunity Commission, or we can tailor a program to your workplace.

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