Titled “Preventing and responding to workplace bullying”, the guidelines encourage and support people in taking early self-help action against workplace bullying before seeking assistance from WorkSafe NZ or the mediation service offered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).
WorkSafe NZ General Manager, High Hazards & Specialist Services, Brett Murray, said WorkSafe NZ wanted to help people deal proactively with the issue themselves and to promote healthy work cultures. The guidelines were developed with MBIE, and seek to support employees and employers to respond to situations before they get out of hand and to achieve workplace-based solutions.
“Bullying in the workplace is a difficult issue for everyone concerned. It affects people’s personal health in a variety of ways, and also seriously impacts business productivity.”
Harassment (sexual, racial and bullying) and discrimination in the workplace are serious workplace issues.
At some time we may experience some form of inappropriate behavior from others. If at work, or among work colleagues, this behaviour may be from people of the same or opposite sex.
Depending on how we feel at the time, we may not see the behavior as a problem, we might grin and bear it, try to ignore it or tell the person to stop. We may also attempt to get away from the situation as soon as possible.
When sexual harassment, racial harassment, bullying and/or discrimination occur in the workplace, it raises some very complex issues for all of us.
TEU is a member of the Working Women’s Resource Centre which has recently produced a guide to dealing with harassment in the workplace. Download the guide here.
Bullying is not only unacceptable on moral grounds, but if left unchecked, it can also result in the employer breaching their obligations under the Health & Safety Act and the Employment Relations Act. This factsheet from the Department of Labour quickly outlines what bullying is and what enployers and employees should do about it.
This booklet is a summary of an extensive review of research and other literature undertaken to guide the development of the Wellbeing@School website self-review process, survey tools and content. This website is being developed by NZCER.
(Thanks to Dunedin Public Libraries for the photo http://www.flickr.com/photos/dunedinpubliclibraries/3571382515)
Recognising and Eliminating Bullying in the Workplace’, by the Office of the Employee Ombudsman, South Australia, March 2000
This guide is concerned with workplace bullying and our main interest here is in how to stop it. This means that we will be considering such matters as the reasons why some people in positions of power bully others and others do not and what needs to be done in order to take power away from those who misuse it. As will become clear in this guide, the whole issue of workplace bullying is concerned with power, depowering the bully and empowering the victim to resist him or her.
This guide aims to show how this can be achieved and, as such, is intended for everyone who may be affected by bullying, no matter in what way. It therefore should be read by employees, those concerned for their welfare such as partners and parents, those responsible for protecting their interests such as union and health and safety representatives, their supervisors and managers and anyone else involved with workers at work.
This brochure provides tools and guidelines to strengthen and reinforce trade union policies and actions to STOP Violence Against Women. Each year the ITUC in cooperation with the Global Union Federations (GUFs) plans initiatives and activities to place this topic high on the agenda of trade unions, employers and governments.
25 November, United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, is an ideal opportunity for a collective and united trade union response in which we say NO to violence against women. Violence against women must be wiped out in our homes, societies and the workplace if women are to have equal opportunities to access DecentWork and a Decent Life.
Ask any women about sexual harassment, and she is likely to have experienced it or to know of cases of it at work. In industrialised countries, 42-50 percent of female workers have been sexually harassed, in the European Union, 40-50% of women, and in Asia-Pacific countries between 30-40% of women workers reported some form of harassment. In a recent study in South Africa, 77 percent of women respondents experienced sexual harassment sometime during their working lives3. Few Latin American countries have recognised sexual harassment as a category of degrading treatment despite the fact that, according to ILO figures, between 30 percent and 50 percent of women workers in the region have suffered some form of sexual harassment, of varying degrees of severity, at some stage in their workplaces.
Bullying can have a serious impact on a workplace. For an employee who is targeted by workplace bullying, the workplace can become a place to fear. For an employer, the hidden costs of such behaviour can quickly mount up. Increased job dissatisfaction, workplace stress and staff turnover all lead to a less productive workplace, and an employer is also at risk of the costs associated with legal claims by employees who have been bullied.
This discussion will tackle the fundamental issue of what constitutes workplace bullying. It will then outline the legal rights and obligations of employees and employers when workplace bullying occurs.