What is not considered workplace bullying
Some work practices may seem unfair, but are not considered bullying if they're within the law and done in a reasonable manner.
Examples of what is not considered bullying include:
- setting realistic and achievable performance goals, standards and deadlines
- fair and appropriate rostering and allocating working hours
- transferring someone to another area of the organisation/business or role for operational reasons
- deciding not to select a worker for promotion where a reasonable process is followed
- informing a person about their unsatisfactory work performance in an honest, fair and constructive way
- informing someone of their unreasonable behaviour in an objective and confidential way
- implementing organisational changes or restructuring
- taking disciplinary action, including suspension or terminating employment where appropriate or justified in the circumstances.
It's also important to note that a single incident of unreasonable behaviour is not considered to be workplace bullying. However, any instances of inappropriate or disrespectful behaviour should be dealt with promptly and seriously before they escalate.
Discrimination and sexual harassment
Discrimination and sexual harassment in employment is unlawful under anti-discrimination, equal employment opportunity, workplace relations and human rights laws, but in isolation is not considered to be bullying.
Examples of sexual harassment include unwelcome touching, sexually explicit comments, or requests that make someone uncomfortable – in person, by email, phone or text message, or online.
For more information or to make a complaint about discrimination or harassment, contact the Australian Human Rights Commission.