Workplace Bullying is something that each of us may have experienced at some point of time in our industry. It makes you feel incompetent, it's depressing and you feel worthless. No one should ever make you feel negative, especially at your work! Workplace Bullying is a serious risk to the emotional wellbeing and health of educators and it needs to be prevented and dealt with if it does occur. It's unfortunate but it still exists in early childhood settings!
What is Work Place Bullying?
Workplace bullying is repeated and unreasonable behaviour directed towards a co-worker. It can be carried out in a variety of ways including through verbal or physical abuse, emails, sms, internet chat rooms and social media. Workplace bullying includes:
If you feel safe and confident, you can approach the person who is bullying you and tell them that their behaviour is unwanted and not acceptable. They may not realise the effect their behaviour is having on you and your feedback may give them an opportunity to change their behaviour.
If you want to deal with the situation personally:
Workplace bullying should always be reported. If you believe you are experiencing or witnessing workplace bullying, you should report it as early as possible. Your employer cannot address the problem if they do not know about it.
You can make a workplace bullying report verbally or in writing, including by:
If the workplace bullying behaviour has not stopped, you may be able to make a complaint to an external body such as the Fair Work Commission.
How Your Service Should Help
If you inform your service that you are experiencing workplace bullying, or someone has made a report against you, your workplace should:
If your workplace decides that a report should be investigated further, it should inform you of the further investigation process. The investigator should be a suitably skilled, neutral person from within the workplace or an external investigator.
What To Do If You Are Accused Of Workplace Bullying
Being accused of bullying behaviour can be upsetting and come as a shock but it is important to be open to feedback from others, and if necessary, be prepared to change your behaviour. Keep the following points in mind:
If you do not understand the complaint or would like a second opinion about your behaviour, discuss the matter with someone you trust. This might be your manager, or a counsellor engaged through your organisation's employee assistance program. Any discussion should be strictly confidential. It is important not to unintentionally escalate the situation by discussing the issue openly.
If you believe you are being unjustly accused, or the complaint is malicious, you should discuss this with your director or management. It may be that an informal discussion between you, the person making the allegation and a third party will solve the problem.
Adjust Unreasonable Behaviour
If you have been made aware that your behaviour is considered unreasonable, stop or modify the behaviour and review what you are doing.
If, after careful consideration, you believe that your behaviour is reasonable management action, you should discuss this with your supervisor, manager, or a human resources officer. Even in those circumstances, it may be possible to modify future management action to minimise the risk that others might find it unreasonable.
If you are found to have continued to bully someone after their objection to your bullying behaviour was made known to you, your persistence, or the fact that you have not modified your behaviour, is likely to be taken into account in disciplinary or other proceedings.
Where To Go For Help?
If you have not being able to resolve the bullying within your serive, there are a number of agencies and organisations that may be able to offer further advice and assistance. You can contact your Work Health and Safety Regulators In your state/territoty.
You can also contact Fair Work Comission for an order to stop the workplace bullying,they will assist you to identify if you are eligible to apply for an order.
The Fair Work Commission’s anti-bullying jurisdiction is limited to preventing the worker from being bullied at work. The Fair Work Commission cannot issue fines or penalties and cannot award financial compensation. The focus is on resolving the matter and enabling normal working relationships to resume.
The Fair Work Commission will make an order if satisfied the worker has been bullied at work by an individual or a group of individuals and there is a risk the worker will continue to be bullied at work. The Fair Work Commission will take into account: