If you or someone you know is experiencing workplace bullying it is important to understand what you can do to minimise the negative impact on the target and to stop the bullying as soon as possible.
It is important to know that as an employee of any business you are entitled to a safe workplace. There should be a variety of resources in your workplace to help you identify the bullying behaviour and get help. On a personal level it is important that you or the target document the unreasonable behaviour. Be sure to include details such as; the date, time, location, details of anyone who witnessed the behaviour, if it happened to anyone else, if you reported the behaviour to anyone, who you reported the behaviour to, what you did or said, and how it made you feel. If the bullying behaviour is being transmitted electronically you will need to save or print these documents and keep them in a safe place.
Being a target of workplace bullying can produce a very emotional response, it is important to have people to talk to such as friends and family. If you feel like you are going to react to the person who uses bullying behaviours try and calm down and talk to a friend or relative about how you are feeling instead. If you are really struggling to cope with the bullying behaviour make sure you seek professional help from your doctor or a psychologist.
If you do not feel that you can continue to go to work and be subject to workplace bullying you need to consult your doctor and get a certificate clearly stating how long you will be absent from work and the reasoning, you then need to produce this to your employer.
If you do decide to seek a professional advice make sure you keep records of your visits and copies of any reports and medical documents as these document will be used in your workplace bullying claim if the bullying behaviour gets worse and you decide you need legal advice.
If your employer has policies or procedures in place to deal with workplace bullying be sure to get a copy of these and read them thoroughly – and if necessary consult someone to help you understand them, as many formal documents can be difficult to interpret.
If your workplace does not have any policy or protocol in place to deal with workplace bullying you must make note of this and confirm with your employer that they do not have any documents relating to workplace bullying. If your employer has no policy or protocol in place to deal with workplace bullying it is vital to gather information on the lack documents as this information is very important down the track if you decide to take legal action for workplace bullying. If your workplace does not have any documents to deal with bullying behaviour you can seek information from and external agency.
If you are not coping with the bullying behavior be sure to take some time off work, (make sure you have a WorkCover certificate from your doctor), take care of yourself by talking to family and friends about the problems you are experiencing in the workplace, review your employers workplace bullying policies and procedures, seek informal advice from someone in the relevant department in your workplace, get professional help if needed from a doctor, psychologist or lawyer, and remember it is your right to work in a safe environment free from bullying.
For more information, please refer to our Workers Compensation page or alternatively, get in touch with the team today at 1300 851 201.