Assess the situation
- Is the behaviour being repeated? This refers to the persistent nature of the behaviour and can involve a range of behaviours over time.
- Is the behaviour unreasonable? This means behaviour that a reasonable person, having considered the circumstances, would see as unreasonable. It includes behaviour that victimises, humiliates, intimidates or threatens someone.
- Is the behaviour creating a risk to your physical and mental health and safety? The effects will vary and may include:
- distress, anxiety, panic attacks or sleep disturbance
- physical illness such as headaches, digestive problems and muscular tension
- negative impact on work performance, concentration and ability to make decisions
- loss of self-esteem and feelings of isolation
- deteriorating relationships with colleagues, family and friends
- thoughts of suicide.
If you answer yes to any of these questions, you may be experiencing workplace bullying.
What to do if you’re being bullied
- Check your workplace bullying policy and procedure on responding to reports.
- Keep a detailed record of what happens and when, and if you raise the matter with anyone.
- Consider speaking to the other person. You can also ask your health and safety representative, union representative or manager/supervisor to accompany you.
- Report it to your manager/supervisor, health and safety representative or union representative. Our sample Notifying your workplace of bullying behaviour form (DOCX, 16.9 KB) may help you.
- Use a counselling service for support. Your union or doctor may also be able to help here, especially if your workplace is a small organisation where employee assistance programs or formal procedures for dealing with complaints may not exist.
Our guide How to prevent and respond to workplace bullying (PDF, 928.2 KB) provides more detail about these steps.