Also see: Occupational violence
- What is Bullying?
- What is not Bullying?
- Seeking Advice and Support
- Further Information and Resources
Bullying is unacceptable and against University Policy.
The University’s Equal Opportunity Policy (MPF1241) should be referred to for additional information regarding concerns or complaints against a staff member or student.
What is Bullying?
Bullying is repeated, unreasonable behaviour directed toward a staff member or student, or a group of staff or students by staff member/s or student/s, that may create a risk to health and safety.
The following types of behaviour, where repeated or occurring as part of a pattern of behaviour could be considered bullying:
Examples of bullying:
- Physical or verbal abuse;
- Yelling, screaming or offensive language;
- Excluding or isolating a staff member or student;
- Deliberately withholding information that is vital for effective performance;
- Spreading rumours or innuendo about someone;
- Psychological harassment;
- Unjustified criticism or complaints;
- Assigning staff members meaningless tasks unrelated to their job;
- Giving staff members impossible jobs;
- Interfering with someone's personal property or equipment;
- Deliberately changing work arrangements, such as rosters and leave, to inconvenience particular staff members.
This list is not exhaustive. Other types of behaviour may also constitute bullying.
A single incident of unreasonable behaviour that creates a risk to health and safety may have a potential to escalate into bullying and therefore should not be ignored. A staff member or student with a concern about a single incident of bullying-style behaviour may raise this issue with a Bullying Advisor, Student Centre Adviser, their supervisor, a local Human Resources Consultation, or a Health and Safety Representative.
What is not Bullying?
- a single incident of bullying-style behaviour does not usually constitute workplace bullying
- reasonable comment, advice or administrative action (including negative feedback) from supervisors or lecturers on work or academic performance or behaviour
For example, business processes such as organisational changes or performance management, where conducted and communicated reasonably, do not constitute bullying.
Seeking Advice and Support
A Network of Bullying Prevention Advisers has been introduced to strengthen the University’s capacity to provide a supportive and responsive environment for staff and students who raise concerns of bullying.
A Bullying Prevention Adviser’s role is a point of contact for individuals who have concerns about bullying.
A Bullying Prevention Adviser can:
- Help a person clarify whether the behaviour may be considered bullying
- Provide advice and information on the University's policies and procedures for dealing with these concerns
- Provide information and make referrals for other information and support
Separate Advisers can provide confidential support and assistance to both the person raising the concerns and the person who is the subject of concerns.
Advisers can also provide advice to witnesses of the behaviour and to supervisors or managers.
If the complaint cannot be resolved informally, there are a number of procedures which should be used to resolve the matter such as Conciliation or Investigation and Determination.
It is best to speak to an Adviser outside your faculty or division.
Find a Bullying Prevention Adviser (or contact the Fairness and Diversity Unit on 8344 7798).
Further Information and Resources
- Adviser Brochure (.pdf)
- Equal Opportunity Policy (MPF1241)
- Workplace bullying – prevention and response (.pdf)
If you believe the behaviour you are concerned about may be based on an attribute such as your age, gender, race, religion or caring responsibilities (for example) please refer to the Discrimination webpage.