The Industrial Relations Act 2016 (Qld) (the Act) includes protections to help people with bullying in the workplace.
Queensland’s anti-bullying measures will apply to all workers who are not currently able to access the federal anti-bullying jurisdiction under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).
A worker is bullied at work if:
Bullying does not include reasonable management action.
Reasonable management action can include, for example: making decisions about an employee’s poor performance, taking disciplinary action, and directions about the way work is carried out. Reasonable management action which is carried out in a reasonable way is not bullying.
Management action that is not carried out in a reasonable way may constitute bullying.
In contrast, workplace bullying does not have to be related to a person or group’s characteristics and adverse action does not have to have occurred.
If you think bullying or harassment is happening at your work, you can talk to:
Alternatively, you can apply to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) for an order to stop the bullying.
The QIRC has been given powers to be able to easily and quickly deal with applications for a stop bullying order. This may include contacting the employer or other parties to the application, conducting a conference or holding a formal hearing.
If the QIRC is satisfied that the worker has been bullied, and there is a risk that the worker will continue to be bullied, it may make a stop bullying order to prevent the worker being bullied at work.
Any information collected through these processes will be handled in accordance with the QIRC’s privacy obligations under legislation.
Queensland employees also have protections from bullying in the workplace under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld). If you think you are being bullied at work, you may also consider lodging a complaint with Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.
The first step is to download the Guide for Preventing and Responding to workplace bullying and Dealing with bullying – a workers’ guide.
If you consider that your complaint meets the definition of bullying, you can call 1300 362 128 or lodge your complaint on line.
For specific information, contact your employer’s Human Resources or Industrial Relations area or your union.