1 What is bullying?

Bullying is repeated, unreasonable behaviour directed towards or from an employee or group of employees that creates a risk to health and safety.

Bullying may be either direct or indirect and can be carried out verbally, physically or in writing (e.g. via email, social media, instant messaging and text messaging). Some examples of behaviour that may amount to bullying include:

  • abusive, aggressive or intimidating conduct
  • making belittling or humiliating comments
  • spreading malicious rumours or misinformation
  • teasing or practical jokes
  • deliberately excluding someone from work-related activities or events
  • unreasonable work expectations, including providing excessive or insufficient workload or setting work below or beyond a worker’s skill level
  • withholding or denying access to information or resources necessary to perform work functions
  • displaying offensive material
  • pressure to behave in an inappropriate manner

In some cases, bullying behaviours may amount to a criminal offence in Victoria.

Bullying is contrary to the Department’s Values and may lead to action under the Guidelines for Managing Complaints, Misconduct and Unsatisfactory Performance (Teaching).

Chapter 1 of the Workplace Bullying Procedure outlining the definition of bullying and example of bullying in schools

Reviewed 29 June 2020

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