Community Organisations: No Tolerance for Bullying

Written by: The Yass Phoenix


It is a sad fact that bullies can exist in any organisation, even community organisations and non-profits.

But let’s be clear about what workplace bullying is. Safe Work NSW defines workplace bullying as repeated and unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or a group of workers that creates a risk to health and safety.

Some examples of potential workplace bullying include:

  • abusive or offensive language or comments
  • aggressive and intimidating behaviour
  • belittling or humiliating comments
  • practical jokes or initiation
  • unjustified criticism or complaints
  • deliberately excluding someone from workplace activities
  • withholding information that is needed for work.

Everyone at work has a role to ensure that bullying does not occur. However, managers and officers such as organisation presidents have particular responsibilities to set a workplace culture of courtesy and respect, and model the behaviour they wish to see in others. Safe Work explains that leaders “must exercise due diligence to ensure the business or undertaking complies with the WHS Act and Regulations. This includes taking reasonable steps to ensure the business or undertaking has and uses appropriate resources and processes to eliminate or minimise risks associated with workplace bullying”.

They also have obligations to address bullying and not turn a blind eye to it. The longer bullying continues, the more difficult it is to address and the harder it becomes to repair working relationships.

If you require more information about workplace bullying, please go to Safe Work Australia.

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