Bullying in the Workplace

Gordon Legal are expert employment lawyers in Sydney and Melbourne. Gordon Legal are able to advise you on what your rights and entitlements might be to ensure that you are afforded a fair go and ensure that you are treated according to the Law. Gordon Legal takes pride in the fact its employment lawyers focus on employees and their rights in the workplace and our employment lawyers are experienced in assisting employees faced with workplace bullying.  

It can be extremely challenging for someone who is faced with workplace bullying to work out their rights and take steps to stop the bullying conduct. Our job is to help you. Workplace bullying can and does result in injury and has long lasting negative effects on those the subject of bullying.

In this article we talk about the Fair Work Commission and its powers to deal with bullying. If you are bullied you might also have a personal injury claim and or insurance claim so it is important you consider those rights in addition to what we discuss below about the powers of the Fair Work Commission. The great news is that Gordon Legal can help you with all of those issues.

The Fair Work Commission can deal with complaints about bullying at work for those eligible. The rules can be complicated about who is covered but basically you need to be defined as a worker and be working in a constitutionally covered business. The definition of worker is wider than the traditional employee test so the anti-bullying laws cover people such as contractors, outworkers, apprentices in addition to your traditional employee (there are some other categories also covered). A constitutionally covered business includes the Commonwealth or private entities. It can also extend wider than that so it is important to check your individual circumstances.


The technical definition of bullying at work is when:

a) A person or a group of people behaves unreasonably and repeatedly towards a worker or group of workers whilst at work; and

b) The behavior creates a risk to health and safety.

c) Importantly, bullying does not include reasonable management action carried out in a reasonable manner

Types of bullying behavior are numerous but include things such as aggressive or intimidating conduct, belittling or humiliating comments. It has also included situations where someone is deliberately excluded from work functions and events.

If you are the subject of bullying then the Fair Work Commission has power to order that it be stopped. It can make an order against your employer but also against the individuals engaging in the bullying conduct.

It is important to note that if you are no longer working for the entity then the Commission does not have the power to deal with the bullying. You must remain working for the entity for the Commission to deal with the matter. This is because the role of the Fair Work Commission is to make an order that the bullying stop and the person being bullied can get on with their work safely and free from the bullying conduct. Importantly the Fair Work Commission does not have power to make any award for compensation.

At Gordon Legal our employment lawyers work seamlessly with our personal injury lawyers to ensure all legal avenues that are explored in cases of workplace bullying to ensure your rights are protected and advanced. It might be that you have multiple legal actions available to you to deal with workplace bullying.

What can be done?

Gordon Legal takes pride in assisting employees. We feel that there are basic rights and protections that all employee should be able to enjoy. We adopt a nuanced approach to reflect your individual goals and rights. Gordon Legal are experts in the field whose sole focus is assisting employees with employment law disputes including matters involving suspension, disciplinary and workplace investigations. Contact our friendly team on 1800 21 22 23 to discuss your claim.