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Half the population are bullied ... most only recognize it when they read this

Links, web sites and resources for dealing with workplace bullying in
Australia and New Zealand

On this page
Australia | New Zealand


Workplace Bullying resources in Australia

From 15 August 2005 employers in South Australia can be fined up to $100,000 for failing to "adequately manage" bullying behaviour. [More]

SAEBOW (Southern Australian Employees Bullied out of Work) offers a help and information line for anyone experience workplace bullying in Australia, phone (country 61) (area code 8) 8250 0388 Mondays 1pm - 4pm, Thursdays 7pm - 10pm. An answering machine and fax machine support the service during non-operating times. Or write to SAEBOW, PO Box 488, Salisbury, South Australia 5108 (please enclose stamped addressed envelope) or email Catherine Crout-Habel at caitrin@senet.com.au

The office of the employee ombudsman in South Australia has released a publication BULLIES NOT WANTED: Recognising and Eliminating Bullying in the Workplace. For a copy call 00 61 82071970 or write to Office of the Employee Ombudsman, GPO Box 2461, Adelaide, South Australia 5001, Australia.

Bad Apple Bullies: tips for Queensland teachers on how to deal with bullies and workplace bullying.

The Queensland Department of Employment, Training and Industrial Relations has pages on workplace health & safety which includes a Workplace Health and Safety Training Resource Kit containing a new chapter on workplace bullying and harassment.

The Queensland Government Department of Industrial Relations workplace bullying taskforce report.

Queensland Draft Advisory Standard for the prevention of workplace bullying and harassment; comments invited by 31 October 2003: http://www.whs.qld.gov.au/ris/comment0103.pdf

Being bossed around is bad for your health: a campaign against workplace bullying by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU): http://actu.labor.net.au/public/resources/bullying/

Evelyn Field has developed a unique social survival skills model to help children and adults deal with bullying: http://www.bullying.com.au/

Workplace mobbing in Australia: http://www.workplacemobbing.com

News of conferences and support groups for those experiencing workplace bullying in New South Wales, Australia: http://lockehayes.com.au/news.htm

Bullywise training program in Victoria, Australia: http://www.edcentre.vic.edu.au and http://www.bullywise.com/

www.bullyingintheworkplace.com brings to public notice an awareness of bullying in the workplace.

Bullying bosses are emerging as a major cause of workplace stress, according to an ACTU study. See http://www.theage.com.au/news/20001011/A42775-2000Oct10.html

Nursing Now is an Australian nurses support web site highlighting concerns over management cost cutting, use of unskilled or semi-skilled labour, decreased concerns for patient care, bullying in the workplace, etc.

The Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, HREOC, web site.

Beyond Bullying Association Inc is tackling workplace bullying in Australia.

Victoria Workcover Authority workplace bullying code of practice

Case history from the Australian Public Sector.

Liz Harris' web site Work Shouldn't Hurt

Whistleblowers Australia have a web site at http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/dissent/. Brian Martin is the author of the excellent The Whistleblower's Handbook ... click here for details.

Stalking laws in Australia.

Poppy's Head is a 23 minute video for school students aged 11-15 approved by the NSW Dept of School Education which makes students aware of family problems connected with dementia. The strong sub-plot features school bullying. Made as an easy-to-watch drama in the style of "Neighbours" or "Home and Away" the video was short-listed for the 1999 AFI Awards (Australian Film Institute). Details: www.angellpro.com.au/Poppy.htm

Dr Paul Heslin GP Family Therapist has a web site at www.alive3000.com

Bullying ... what can be done about it? http://www.sangrea.net/bully/new.php

Fact sheet on bullying at work

More links to Australian sites on workplace bullying.

Articles

Those who can, do. Those who can't, bully, Sydney's Child, June 1999, details from Copeland Publishing, PO Box 171, Beecroft, NSW 2119, Australia, tel +61 2 9484 5334 for single copy. The article explores the links between child and adult bullying.

News

August 2003: Kiwis tackle overwork and exhaustion: http://www.nzctu.org.nz/news/188.html

August 2003: Stressed Aussies worked to death: UnionSafe warns that work practices, loss of job security, escalating demands, violence and bullying in the workplace result in heart attacks, strokes, disease, depression and suicide: http://www.unionsafe.labor.net.au/news/106014970226844.html

August 2003: Workers' helpline reaching out to new employees: ACTU helpline, launched at the ACTU 2003 Congress in Melbourne, is designed to assist all workers, particularly those who are young or new to the workforce and have little idea about their rights: http://www.actu.asn.au/congress2003/news/1061425737_463.html 

For young people...

The Australian Kids Helpline web site has a page of links.

Dr Ken Rigby's Bullying Pages Dr Ken Rigby is Adjunct Associate Professor of Social Psychology and an educational consultant based at the University of South Australia.

Child and Adolescent Psychological and Educational Resources (CAPER) provides a range of educational and psychological resources, targeting stress, violence/bullying and teacher education. Aimed at families, students and education workers.

Cases

23 July 2004: the "explosive, repetitive and serious nature of his behaviour" earns Ballarat radio announcer Reginald David Mowat a $10,000 fine. [More]

17 December 2000: an Australian man employed as a technician at British Aerospace Australia's Tidbinbilla deep space tracking station has won A$342,989 (£129,000) damages for a major depressive illness contracted whilst having to work for years under a night-shift supervisor who was often drunk, asleep, or incompetent. Despite being alerted to the situation, British Aerospace Australia took no action. See Canberra Sunday Times. In October 2000 the International Labour Organisation (ILO) produced a report highlighting levels of depression in the workplace.

Victoria, Australia: since 1996 almost 1,000 teachers and principals in the state of Victoria have received £12.5 million (A$34 million) in compensation for stress and injury to health caused mostly by excessive workloads, abuse, lack of support and recognition, and having to deal with difficult students.

Legal

The need to take account of the inappropriateness of time limits was expressed in the case of Kirk v. Kirk in Australia [File No LDR M10/1996 Judgement No 136/1997, Supreme Court of Tasmania, COX, CJ, Hobart, 28 October 1997 (hearing), 14 November 1997 (decision)] in which a female applicant was claiming damages for a road traffic accident, the severity of whose injuries prevented her from taking legal action within the prescribed time limit.

"As to delay, this has, I think, been satisfactorily explained. The injuries, both physical and emotional which flowed from the accident, produced a condition which explains why she could not bring herself to take the necessary action to protect her interests during the two year period she believed she had to commence proceedings. The deliberate decision not to proceed is clearly a relevant factor and one which, in many circumstances, would lead to the dismissal of such an application as this (cf Woolley v Jensen, B51/1994, Zeeman J). Nevertheless, if that decision arises from circumstances created by the alleged wrongdoer, it would not be just, in my view, to deny her a remedy on that score alone. In Hawkins v Clayton (1987-1988) 164 CLR 539 at 590, Deane J said:

"If a wrongful action or breach of duty by one person not only causes unlawful injury to another but, while its effect remains, effectively precludes that other from bringing proceedings to recover the damage to which he is entitled, that other person is doubly injured. There can be no acceptable or even sensible justification of a law which provides that to sustain the second injury will preclude recovery of damages for the first. It would, eg, be a travesty of justice and common sense if the law provided that a cause of action lay for damages for false imprisonment but then went on to provide that that cause of action would be lost if the false imprisonment continued for six years after the cause of action first accrued. Likewise, it would be a travesty of justice and common sense if the law imposed a duty upon a solicitor to take positive steps to inform a third person of the contents of a document of which the solicitor was alone aware and then provided that any cause of action against the solicitor for damage caused by a negligent failure to perform that duty would be lost if the negligence continued for six years. It is arguable that the notion of unconscionable reliance upon the provisions of a Statute of Limitations which provides the foundation of the long-established equitable jurisdiction to grant relief in a case of concealment of a cause of action until after the limitation period has expired (cf s 55(1) of the Limitation Act) should, by analogy, be extended to cover cases such as these where the wrongful act at the one time inflicts the injury and, while its effect remains, precludes the bringing of an action for damages. It seems to me, however, that the preferable approach is to recognize that it could not have been the legislative intent that the effect of provisions such as s 14(1) of the Limitation Act should be that a cause [course?] of action for a wrongful act should be barred by lapse of time during a period in which the wrongful act itself effectively precluded the bringing of proceedings."

23 June 2000: in the New Zealand case of Gilbert v. The Department of Corrections, former probation officer Christopher Gilbert has been awarded around NZ$1 million damages for injury to health caused by work overload which he reported but which his employer did nothing to reduce. Gilbert claimed that by failing to provide him with a safe workplace and by requiring him to endure excessive workloads without adequate or effective management, his employer committed a breach of contract. The judge agreed and awarded Mr Gilbert 14 years' salary at about $40,000 a year, $75,000 in damages for humiliation and distress, $50,000 in punitive damages, $50,000 for loss of employability, plus medical expenses and legal costs.


Australian Industrial Relations Commission Cases – found at http://osiris.gov.au/

Termination of employment - unfair dismissal - unlawful termination summary dismissal - fighting - supermarket butcher - provocation - applicant disabled by workplace injury and thereafter suffered harassment and abuse in the workplace - respondent failed to adequately deal with harassment - no physical act or threat in provocative action that led applicant to react physically - AWU-FIME Amalgamated Union v Queensland Aluminum Ltd (62 IR 385), Yew v ACI Glass Packaging Pty Limited (IRCA Dec No 596 of 1996), Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union v M G Kays Casings Pty Ltd (Print K9963), Sharon Guy and Anne Johnson v Win Print (Print P0388), and Michael Grueter v Tip Top Bakeries (IRCA W11021/GS, 21/8/95) applied - termination valid - termination not harsh, unjust or unreasonable - recognised that provocateur not being disciplined detracts from `fair go all round' - application dismissed but not to be recorded as summary dismissal.  M Cronin and Woolworths Limited U No 20217 of 1997 Print P8457 Jones C Sydney 30 January 1997

Termination of employment - unfair dismissal - unlawful termination - constructive dismissal - arbitration - packer, food processing - applicant on work rehabilitation programme - Commission concluded resignation caused by incessant bullying, abuse and harassment by supervisor - held constructively dismissed - applicant to be re-instated and reimbursed for all lost income. Dillon v Arnotts Biscuits U No 31680 of 1997 Print P4843 Tolley C Melbourne 10 September 1997

Termination of employment - unfair dismissal -- applicant dismissed for misconduct - use of insulting, intimidatory and abusive language - applicant consistently behaved in a manner for which he was counseled and warned - applicant lacks requisite self-discipline and demonstrated no remorse - termination not harsh - application dismissed.  Davis v Curragh Queensland Mining U No 40037 of 1998 Print Q4564 Hoffman C Brisbane 6 August 1998

Alleged unlawful termination – [no catch phrases included] – applicant’s advocate alleged applicant had been bullied by supervisor – termination found to be harsh, unjust and unreasonable – respondent ordered to reinstate applicant subject to giving him a final warning.   Y Lee v Walker Australia Pty Ltd (U No. 50000 of 1998) Dec 1285/99 M Print S0402 Cribb C Melbourne 25 October 1999

Termination of employment - unfair dismissal - resignation - position abolished following restructure - no redundancy offered - respondent unreasonably, without consultation or consent imposed new role with perceived lower status, increased travel and new responsibilities - respondent unwilling to amend or address concerns regarding position offered - as former position no longer existed and redundancy not accessible, applicant's only choice to accept new position or resign - termination of employment consequence of respondent's actions - termination at initiative of employer - no valid reason for termination related to operational requirements or capacity - applicant notified of reason - termination not related to unsatisfactory performance - termination harsh, unjust and unreasonable - Sprigg principles applied - compensation ordered - claim for damages for distress and injured feelings refused.

Neill v York International Australia P/L U No 34282 of 1999 Print S7645 Hingley Melbourne C10 July 2000


Current events

From Don Chapman at Bullied Workers Support Action Network (BWSAN)

Workplace bullying in Australia is on the rise. How can it be addressed and what are its subtle and unsubtle dynamics? With funding from WorkCover and ArtsSA, and support from the United Trades and Labor Council, the Working Womens Centre, the Employee Ombudsman, Business SA, Accord Facilitation Services and Workplace Services these questions are being transformed into an innovative theatre work by the Bullied Workers Support Action Network, an ensemble of community people who are committed to addressing bullying in workplaces. In the new year this ensemble will tour their play to workplaces, conferences, seminars, the Adelaide Fringe and theatres in metropolitan Adelaide.

COGLIN STREET COMMUNITY CENTRE, 23 COGLIN STREET, ADELAIDE 5000

27 Feb, 3, 12 Mar at 6pm, 27 Feb, 3, 12 Mar at 8pm A$15 C$10 $8 G$12 Contact Red Rags Project Coordinator, Don Chapman, 8178 1067 or 0422 103 945.

Also,

BULLIED WORKERS RECLAIMING OUR LIVES PROJECT

The Bullied Workers Support Action Network (BWSAN) operates from 78 Hutt St, Adelaide, and offers support to bullied and harassed workers. It provides information, assistance and support for workers with their cases, refers people to other agencies and assists healing and return to work through a fortnightly networking and sharing between bullied and harassed workers. Meetings are held on the first and third Saturday of every month at 3pm at The Colour Building 78 Hutt St, Adelaide, corner of Wakefield St. Call Don on 0422 103 945 or 8178 1067 if you’re coming or for more details.


Past events

February 2002: International Workplace Bullying Conference, Adelaide, South Australia.

October 2000: Workplace Bullying - Unacceptable Behaviour, conference on bullying, Anti-discrimination Commission, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. Click here for details.

Thursday 15 July 2004, 09:45am (Sydney time): Life Matters, ABC Radio, Australia looks at workplace psychopaths. You can listen live at http://www.abc.net.au/rn/audio.htm and the audio is also streamed for about a fortnight (and transcripts available) at: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/lm/stories/s1153990.htm

Sunday 18 July 2004, 09:10am, repeated Tuesday 20 July 2004 at 7:10pm (Sydney time): Background Briefing, produced by Ian Walker, is ABC Radio National's agenda-setting current affairs radio documentary program. This week: Psychos in Suits - find out what happens when the psychopath goes to work - a hair-raising story of toxic bosses, irrational CEOs, backstabbing co-workers, serial bullies and malignant narcissists. Includes an interview with Tim Field.  Listen live over the net at http://www.abc.net.au/rn/audio.htm. Streamed audio (available two hours after broadcast) and transcripts available (by the following Thursday) at http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/bbing/default.htm


Bullying resources in New Zealand

The Challenge Violence Trust is runs a national helpline 0800 ZERO BULLY.

Workplaces Against Violence in Employment (WAVE) which has a major focus on workplace bullying is found at www.wave.org.nz

Beyond Bullying New Zealand

Workplace Bullying and Harassment: A Toolbox For Managers and Supervisors by Hayden Olsen

Workplace Bullying - a costly business secret by Andrea Needham.


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How can I recognise that I'm being bullied?
What is bullying and why me? | Definitions of bullying
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about bullying
Overcoming myths, misperceptions and stereotypes
The answer to Why don't you stand up for yourself?
Bullying and vulnerability
Why have my colleagues deserted me?
What's the difference between bullying and mobbing?
What is harassment and discrimination?
Why grievance procedures are inappropriate for dealing with bullying
The difference between bullying and management
Facts, figures, surveys, costs of bullying | Cost of bullying to UK plc
UK National Workplace Bullying Advice Line statistics
Profile of the serial bully - who does this describe in your life?
Antisocial Personality Disorder | Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Paranoid Personality Disorder | Borderline Personality Disorder
Bullies and attention-seeking behaviour
Munchausen Syndrome and MSBP
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why trade unions fail to support their members

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