What is workplace bullying?
Bullying is repeated, unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or group of workers that creates a risk to their health and safety.
Differences of opinion, conflicts and personality clashes can happen in the workplace and do not amount to bullying. However, if the behaviour goes beyond a one-off disagreement, if it increases in intensity and becomes offensive or harmful to someone, it becomes bullying.
Bullying can be psychological violence and/or physical violence, and can include:
- Persistent and repeatedly aggressive behaviour
- Physical abuse
- Repeated verbal abuse, including yelling, screaming, personal comments, offensive language, sarcasm
- Vindictive, offensive, cruel or malicious behaviour
- Unreasonable removal of status and authority
- Repeatedly having impossible deadlines, workload or pressure
- Being given meaningless tasks
- Persistent nit-picking and unjustified criticism
- Constantly being ‘singled out’ or targeted for practical jokes or gossip
- Deliberately being ostracised, isolated or ignored.