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The Impact of Workplace Bullying and Harassment and How to Address It

Bullying and harassment in the workplace is a serious problem that affects millions of workers around the world.

In this article, we will explore what workplace bullying and harassment are, their impact on employees, and how employers can address and prevent these issues.  Not only can it have a detrimental effect on employees’ mental health and well-being, but it can also negatively impact their productivity, job satisfaction, and career progression.

 

What is Workplace Bullying and Harassment?

Workplace bullying refers to repeated, unreasonable actions or behaviours by one or more persons towards another, creating a hostile or intimidating work environment. These behaviours can be verbal, physical, or psychological in nature and can include actions such as shouting, belittling, isolating, or spreading rumours about an individual. On the other hand, workplace harassment involves unwelcome conduct that is based on a person’s race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, or any other protected characteristic. This behaviour can be verbal or physical, including unwanted sexual advances, offensive jokes or comments, or physical assaults.

The Impact of Workplace Bullying and Harassment

Both workplace bullying and harassment can have a significant impact on the health and well-being of employees. Some of the common effects include:

Mental Health Issues: Bullying and harassment can cause significant emotional distress and can lead to mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Physical Health Issues: Employees who are bullied or harassed may experience physical symptoms such as headaches, sleep disturbances, and gastrointestinal problems.
Decreased Productivity: Employees who are subjected to workplace bullying and harassment may become disengaged and less productive, which can negatively impact the overall performance of the organisation.
High Turnover: Employees who experience workplace bullying and harassment are more likely to leave their jobs, which can result in high turnover rates and increased recruitment costs for the organisation.

How to address workplace bullying and harassment

Employers have a duty of care to their employees to ensure they are not subjected to workplace bullying and harassment. Here are some steps that organisations can take to address and prevent these issues:

Establish a Zero-Tolerance Policy
Employers should develop and implement a clear policy outlining workplace bullying and harassment, the consequences for those who engage in such behaviour, and the reporting procedures for employees who experience such behaviour.

  • Provide Training and Education
    Employers should provide regular training and education to employees on what constitutes workplace bullying and harassment, how to recognise it, and what to do if they experience or witness such behaviour.
  • Create a Supportive Culture
    Organisations should foster a culture of respect and inclusion, where all employees are treated with dignity and encouraged to speak up if they experience workplace bullying and harassment.
  • Encourage Reporting
    Employers should encourage employees to report any incidents of workplace bullying and harassment and ensure that there are appropriate channels for reporting such incidents, such as a confidential helpline or an impartial mediator.
  • Develop Policies and Procedures to deal with complaints of bullying and harassment.
    Employers are required by safe work legislation to ensure that they develop policies and procedures to respond to complaints of workplace bullying and harassment. A failure to do so could lead to an employer being prosecuted under the NSW Work Health and Safety legislation and lead to claims for workers’ compensation by injured employees.

Injury from Bullying and Harassment

Bullying and harassment in the workplace can cause significant psychological injury. An employer should implement policies and procedures to prevent and address bullying and harassment once it has been reported. A failure to do so can be a breach of the employer’s duty of care.
Employees who sustain a psychological injury in the workplace can make a claim for weekly payments and medical expenses under the NSW Workers Compensation Act.

Conclusion

Workplace bullying and harassment are serious issues that can have significant consequences for employees and organisations alike. Employers are responsible for creating a safe and supportive work environment where all employees are treated with respect and dignity. By establishing clear policies, providing regular training and education, and fostering a culture of respect and inclusion, organisations can address and prevent workplace bullying and harassment.

If you are the victim of bullying or harassment in the workplace, contact Garling and Co lawyers.  Our lawyers are accredited specialists in personal injury law and available to assist you with your claim. Contact us today by telephone at (02) 8329 9500, visit our website www.garlingandco.com.au or complete a free case assessment by clicking here.

 

Garling & Co Lawyers

Matthew Garling

Matthew Garling is an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law approved by New South Wales Law Society. He is admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of NSW and the High Court of Australia. Matthew is also a member of...
Ray H.
07:33 13 Jun 24
Matthew Garling and Team are kind, patient, polite, professional, empathetic and efficient. I was treated terribly by the at fault insurer. Garling and Co. had my back. Matthew gently and patiently... kept me up to speed on all the steps to go through. From my personal experience I recommend these guys. They are safe hands. Thank you team.read more
Jo L.
05:58 07 May 24
So very impressed with the professional team who looked after me throughout the last 4 and 1/2 years. A special mention to Kerry and Nathan who navigated each request to fight for my right to gain... access to further treatments and physio and to ensure medical treatment would be covered moving forward. I was so grateful I could hand it all over to you and not have to go through this very challenging time without your support.I thank you for the compassion you have provided to me, from the first contact with Matthew and Natasha, to finalisation with Kerry and Nathan.I highly recommend the team at Garling and Co for any third party compensation claims. You are in good hands with them all.read more
Linda O.
21:53 06 May 24
Emma, Rebecca and the team at Garling and Co have worked diligently throughout my workers compensation claim. The level of professionalism, support and communication has been faultless. Of particular... note has been the sensitivity displayed to me throughout the lengthy process. Worker’s compensation claims are complex and not easy to navigate, particularly when you are unwell. I do not hesitate to recommend Garling and Co to help you find a way through this otherwise unfathomable system.read more
Keith H.
20:51 23 Apr 24
After my case stalled with another firm, I decided to give Matthew Garling a call. He took my case and not only won, but achieved an outcome that far exceeded my expectations. This firm is the best... in the business in my opinion and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone.read more
Anthony T.
00:50 16 Apr 24
Thank you Matthew and his team who guided me through the legal process, a truly positive experience with total professionalism.
Mikaele N.
03:01 15 Apr 24
Garling &Co Lawyers were awesome, I called every compensation law firm and was told that I couldn't claim for compensation.The whole experience and process was simple and stress free.Mr Matthew... Garling and Allison deserve an accolades for the very best in client service. I would highly recommend their service to anyone.read more
Tamara L.
02:10 15 Apr 24
I want to thank Garling & Co so much for all the help they have given me and helped with my claim. We got the win last week and it was the best news I have gotten considering how much my life has... been turned upside down the past 2 years. Emma and Rebecca have been incredible to work with and explained everything from the start even when I had hesitation to go ahead regarding how much everything would cost or how fair it could go or even if I had a chance, but they explained everything thoroughly, so I understood it all. Thank you for making this process seamlessly easy and helping me get the win it will make things a little easy for me that's for sure financial thank you for all your help I cannot recommend you and your services enough. Thank you again.read more
Sigrid W.
05:01 11 Apr 24
Utter professionalism from first phone call to final settlement. It was a pleasure to be represented by a firm that actually cares for their clients. From office staff, to paralegal and solicitor... Rebecca, Emma and Matthew thank you for your support and expertise throughout my claim. No wonder your firm has won many awards. I'm extremely happy with my outcome and can confidently recommend your firm.read more
BJ S.
01:09 09 Apr 24
Highly recommend Matthew & Allison at Garling and Co ! Quick response ! helpful every step of the way ! If you want the best compensation lawyer, Matthew @ Garling and co is the bestDoesn’t waste... time. Very informative ! excellent guidance! They get the job done ✅Website is perfect guide5 Star ⭐️ is not enoughI’m so grateful to Matthew, Allison and team for my outcome so far !Thank you 😊 Garling and co are awesome 👏 🤩read more
Jaimie K.
06:11 02 Apr 24
Have had a rollercoaster ride with Garling and Co over the several years we have been battling the system that injured workers are faced with. The wheels of progress are slow within this system.... However Garling and co have always stood by me. Calls are returned and matters are always followed up in a timely manner.read more
READ ALL TESTIMONIALS

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Ray H.
07:33 13 Jun 24
Matthew Garling and Team are kind, patient, polite, professional, empathetic and efficient. I was treated terribly by the at fault insurer. Garling and Co. had my back. Matthew gently and patiently... kept me up to speed on all the steps to go through. From my personal experience I recommend these guys. They are safe hands. Thank you team.read more
Jo L.
05:58 07 May 24
So very impressed with the professional team who looked after me throughout the last 4 and 1/2 years. A special mention to Kerry and Nathan who navigated each request to fight for my right to gain... access to further treatments and physio and to ensure medical treatment would be covered moving forward. I was so grateful I could hand it all over to you and not have to go through this very challenging time without your support.I thank you for the compassion you have provided to me, from the first contact with Matthew and Natasha, to finalisation with Kerry and Nathan.I highly recommend the team at Garling and Co for any third party compensation claims. You are in good hands with them all.read more
Linda O.
21:53 06 May 24
Emma, Rebecca and the team at Garling and Co have worked diligently throughout my workers compensation claim. The level of professionalism, support and communication has been faultless. Of particular... note has been the sensitivity displayed to me throughout the lengthy process. Worker’s compensation claims are complex and not easy to navigate, particularly when you are unwell. I do not hesitate to recommend Garling and Co to help you find a way through this otherwise unfathomable system.read more
Keith H.
20:51 23 Apr 24
After my case stalled with another firm, I decided to give Matthew Garling a call. He took my case and not only won, but achieved an outcome that far exceeded my expectations. This firm is the best... in the business in my opinion and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone.read more
Anthony T.
00:50 16 Apr 24
Thank you Matthew and his team who guided me through the legal process, a truly positive experience with total professionalism.
Mikaele N.
03:01 15 Apr 24
Garling &Co Lawyers were awesome, I called every compensation law firm and was told that I couldn't claim for compensation.The whole experience and process was simple and stress free.Mr Matthew... Garling and Allison deserve an accolades for the very best in client service. I would highly recommend their service to anyone.read more
Tamara L.
02:10 15 Apr 24
I want to thank Garling & Co so much for all the help they have given me and helped with my claim. We got the win last week and it was the best news I have gotten considering how much my life has... been turned upside down the past 2 years. Emma and Rebecca have been incredible to work with and explained everything from the start even when I had hesitation to go ahead regarding how much everything would cost or how fair it could go or even if I had a chance, but they explained everything thoroughly, so I understood it all. Thank you for making this process seamlessly easy and helping me get the win it will make things a little easy for me that's for sure financial thank you for all your help I cannot recommend you and your services enough. Thank you again.read more
Sigrid W.
05:01 11 Apr 24
Utter professionalism from first phone call to final settlement. It was a pleasure to be represented by a firm that actually cares for their clients. From office staff, to paralegal and solicitor... Rebecca, Emma and Matthew thank you for your support and expertise throughout my claim. No wonder your firm has won many awards. I'm extremely happy with my outcome and can confidently recommend your firm.read more
BJ S.
01:09 09 Apr 24
Highly recommend Matthew & Allison at Garling and Co ! Quick response ! helpful every step of the way ! If you want the best compensation lawyer, Matthew @ Garling and co is the bestDoesn’t waste... time. Very informative ! excellent guidance! They get the job done ✅Website is perfect guide5 Star ⭐️ is not enoughI’m so grateful to Matthew, Allison and team for my outcome so far !Thank you 😊 Garling and co are awesome 👏 🤩read more
Jaimie K.
06:11 02 Apr 24
Have had a rollercoaster ride with Garling and Co over the several years we have been battling the system that injured workers are faced with. The wheels of progress are slow within this system.... However Garling and co have always stood by me. Calls are returned and matters are always followed up in a timely manner.read more
University of Technology, Sydney
Member of Law Society of New South Wales
Law Society of NSW Specialist Accreditation
University of Sydney
Legal Profession Admission Board of New South Wales
The law society of nsw professional standards scheme logo.
University of Technology, Sydney
Member of Law Society of New South Wales
Law Society of NSW Specialist Accreditation
University of Sydney
Legal Profession Admission Board of New South Wales
The law society of nsw professional standards scheme logo.
Google Rating
4.9