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What is workplace bullying?

Bullying in the workplace means treatment of a person, or a group, that:

  • is unfair
  • is repeated or ongoing
  • makes people feel embarrassed, victimised, humiliated, threatened or undermined, and it is reasonable for them to feel that way. 

A bully can be anyone within the workplace including a manager, a supervisor or another member of staff.  Clients, customers and other business contacts can also bully.

Bullying behaviour can be:

  • physical or verbal abuse
  • nitpicking
  • constant put-downs
  • teasing
  • spreading gossip
  • excluding people
  • unreasonably criticising someone's work
  • assigning too much or inappropriate work
  • denying opportunities for training, promotion, or interesting assignments
  • withholding information that a person needs to do their job.

Giving feedback and constructive criticism, raising concerns about work performance, disciplining or dismissing staff, are not bullying if these actions are done in a reasonable way.

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