BULLYING IN THE WORKPLACE Community Law New Zealand / Te Whainga Tika Aotearoa DEFINITION OF BULLYING No Legislative Definition • • • “Bullying may be seen as something that someone repeatedly… does or says to gain power and dominance over another… including any action or implied action, such as threats, intended to cause fear and distress.” Evans v Gen-I Limited, unreported, AA 333/05 SO WHAT IS BULLYING? • • • Bullying versus Harassment Examples of Bullying Difficulties EFFECTS OF BULLYING ON VICTIMS Reported effects of bullying have been: • • • • Stress, anxiety and tension Feelings of social isolation at work Loss of confidence and self-esteem Loss or deterioration of personal relationships THE LAW • • • Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 Employment Relations Act 2000 Various judgments of the courts and the Employment Relations Authority. WHEN SOMEONE IS BULLIED AT WORK • • Record all instances of bullying Record the effects of the bullying o If a personal grievance is raised, it is useful to know what the effects of the bullying have been (e.g. stress, insomnia, mood changes etc.). • Get a medical certificate o Some employees who have experienced bullying or harassment may take stress leave. It is helpful to have a medical certificate linking the doctor’s diagnosis with the bullying. • Raise the issue with the employer ORGANISATIONAL CULTURE • • • • Some organisations have a bully culture: Removing a bully will not solve problem Just a training course will not work Typical culture can be... o Hierarchical o Closed-type organisation o Service-type organisations ELIMINATING A BULLY CULTURE • • • • • Policy and commitment Effective complaints procedures / resources Leadership role modelling Support for targets and victims Educational awareness IF YOU WANT TO TAKE LEGAL ACTION • • • Do so as soon as possible: 90-day limit for raising a personal grievance (especially important when the date of the grievance is uncertain) Get specialist legal advice: the law in this area is complicated and some situations may not give rise to a viable claim Get free legal advice and/or advocacy: o See your Community Law Centre MORE INFORMATION • • • • General resource: www.bullyonline.org/workbully/oz.htm#NewZealand Workplaces Against Violence in Employment: www.wave.org.nz Department of Labour: www.osh.govt.nz/publications/factsheets/bullying.html Human Rights Commission: www.hrc.co.nz/home/hrc/newsandissues/bullyingandsaf ety.php THANK YOU This presentation was put together by: Wellington Community Law Centre PO Box 24005, Wellington 6142 (04) 499 2928 [email protected] www.wclc.org.nz Disclaimer: We’ve made every effort has been made to ensure this information is correct at the time of publication. However, we can’t take responsibility for errors or omissions. Teachers and learners may need to seek specific advice for your particular situation. Where appropriate, we urge you to do so. Visit your local Community Law Centre: www.communitylaw.org.nz Please feel free to download, adapt, improve, distribute, remix, tweak and build upon this presentation.