Workplace Bullying

Workplace bullying is when a person or group of people say or do things to you in the workplace that are unreasonable, repeated and create a risk to your health and safety at work.

Unreasonable

Unreasonable behaviour is behaviour that a reasonable person, having regard to the circumstances, may see as unreasonable. In other words, it is an objective test.

Repeated

There is no specific number of incidents required for the behaviour to be “repeated”, provided there is more than one occurrence, nor does the same specific behaviour have to be repeated.

Risk to health and safety

Proof of actual harm to health and safety is not necessary provided that a risk to health and safety created by bullying behaviour is demonstrated.

Examples of bullying include (but are not limited to) behaving aggressively, teasing or practical jokes, pressuring someone to behave inappropriately, excluding someone from work-related events or unreasonable work demands. 

It is not workplace bullying if it is a single incident, reasonable management action carried out in a reasonable way, and ordinary differences of opinion or disagreements within the workplace. Management action that is not carried out in a reasonable way may be considered bullying. 

A worker who has been bullied at work may apply to the Fair Work Commission for an order to stop the bullying. There is no timeframe for a worker lodging an order to stop bullying. Importantly, the remedy for workplace bullying is preventative – not remedial, punitive or compensatory. 

If a person does not comply with an order to stop bullying, a person affected by the contravention may seek enforcement of an order through civil remedy proceedings. The Court may make any order the Court considers appropriate including (but not limited to) an order awarding compensation for loss that a person has suffered because of the contravention. 

If you have experienced workplace bullying, you may be able to make a complaint and you should contact our office for advice on the matter. 

Domestic Violence Order 

A domestic violence order (DVO) is an official document issued by the Court to stop threats or acts of domestic violence. It is designed to keep the ‘aggrieved’ (the person who has had violence against them) safe by making it a criminal offence for the ‘respondent’ (the person who has committed domestic violence against you) to breach the DVO. 

Domestic violence means behaviour by a person in a relevant relationship that is physically or psychologically abusive or threatening (amongst others). A relevant relationship is an intimate personal relationship (e.g. a couple relationship irrespective of gender), or family relationship (e.g. a person’s child, stepchild, sibling, etc), or an informal care relationship (dependent and carer). In other words, you are not eligible for a DVO if your ‘relationship’ falls outside these relationships (see Peace and Good Behaviour Orders). 

Domestic violence includes (but is not limited to) causing personal injury to a person or threatening to do so, damaging a person’s property or threatening to do so, or unlawfully stalking a person. A person who procures someone else to engage in such behaviour is taken to have committed domestic violence.

If a DVO is made against a respondent, the DVO will have the condition that the respondent must be of good behaviour and not commit domestic violence against the aggrieved or any other person named in the order (e.g. children, relatives or friends). An order can have other conditions to stop someone: 

  • ·         Approaching the aggrieved at home or work;
  • ·         Staying in a home they both currently share;
  • ·         Approaching relatives or friends (if named in the order); or
  • ·         Going to a child’s school or day care centre.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, you can apply for a DVO. The application form can be downloaded from the following link:

http://www.courts.qld.gov.au/going-to-court/domestic-violence/domestic-violence-orders/applying-for-a-domestic-violence-order

If you are ever unsure about how to complete this form, you should contact our office for assistance.

Email: cbc@cbclawyers.com.au

Phone: 07 4772 3644