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April 20, 2016
Workplace bullying is a pressing issue in Australian workplaces, with it estimated to cost businesses between $17 billion and $36 billion each year, and the average cost for a single claim falling between $17,000 and $24,000.
Considering this, as an employer, it is important to understand what is considered bullying and what is deemed as reasonable management action.
An employee is bullied at work if an individual, or group of individuals, repeatedly behaves unreasonably towards a worker and that behaviour creates a risk to the worker’s health and safety. Examples of bullying may include, but not limited to:
Understanding reasonable management action
Bullying does not include reasonable management action taken against an employee. It is reasonable for managers and supervisors to allocate work and to give fair feedback on an employee’s performance. These actions cannot be considered workplace bulling if they are carried out in a reasonable manner and take into account specific circumstances.
Reasonable management actions include:
Employers need to ensure when taking management action against an employee, they do so in a way that cannot be deemed as bullying. This includes:
Employsure can assist you in minimising the risks of workplace bullying by advising on effective ways to manage behaviour and performance. If you have any questions relating to bullying, reasonable management actions, or need help with differentiating between the two, contact us today on 1300 651 415. Our specialist team can answer any questions you may have.