Why Workers Choose to Simply Endure Bullies at Work

With the introduction of the new anti-bullying regime in Australia’s Fair Work Commission, it is astonishing that only 1 out of 874 applications for suits against workplace bullying has been granted.

It is said that hundreds of complaints were anticipated upon the first month of the new regime, but surprisingly, none of the employees have filed. Lawyers are of the opinion that there are several reasons for employers to simply endure bullies at work rather than to file a law suit. One reason would be that employers often receive no compensation at all, as the regime only takes action for the bullying to stop. Adding to this lack of a form of indemnity is the narrow definition of bullying which makes it hard for a successful claim. Lastly, it is also speculated that most think that complaints are not dealt with quickly.

Bullying is defined as a repeated unreasonable conduct with a potential to cause a health and safety risk. Making this narrow definition worse is the defense of Reasonable Management. Reasonable Management exempts the act of bullying and such claim would easily dismiss the complaint. The definition also construes for the fact that if the act is not ‘repeated’, then it is not ‘bullying.’ In addition, those who have received the worker’s compensation could no longer file a bullying claim. For instance, the indemnity it provides deemed worker’s compensation the better option.

Unfortunately, legal representation against workplace bullies is not considered an option by many due to its being costly in terms of money, time, anticipation, and effort.

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