Bullying at work

Bullying, also known as workplace harassment, is unwelcome and repeated treatment of a person that does, or could offend, intimidate, humiliate or threaten that person.

Instances of bullying may also be considered to be discrimination if they are based on a particular characteristic or attribute that is covered by the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991. For example, a person's age, race or sexuality.  Bullying may become sexual harassment if it is sexual in nature.

Discrimination and sexual harassment do not have to be repeated for a complaint to be made, whereas bullying, by definition is repeated behaviour. Complaints of bullying that do not constitute discrimination or sexual harassment should be made through the internal workplace complaints process, or to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland Link to external website.  

Action taken against employees in relation to work performance does not constitute bullying, as long as it is considered to be reasonable management action.

In all cases, employers should be vigilant in monitoring bullying and harassment behaviour in the workplace and take reasonable steps to prevent and manage it.

More information about bullying, access the Bullying fact sheet.