ABS data has reported that women are more than twice as likely than men to suffer from mental conditions caused by workplace bullying or stress-related work injuries.
Over the 2017/2018 period, reported workplace mental conditions or stress work-related injuries for men were 11,000, while women were more than double at over 23,000.
Workplace bullying can be described as deliberate, repeated and unreasonable behaviour directed against an employee, or group of employees, that causes a risk to their health and safety. This can include verbal, physical, social or psychological abuse and can affect any type of employee from casuals and volunteers, to seasonal and full time staff.
Examples of bullying behaviour can vary greatly and can include insults, offensive or inappropriate language, spreading rumours, deliberate exclusion, teasing, intimidation, unreasonable deadlines or refusing of a person’s annual or sick leave.
Mental health conditions caused by workplace bullying can have an extensive impact on a person’s life. Anxiety, depression, fear of returning to work, suicidal ideation and a breakdown of social relationships are all very serious side-effects that can be caused from persistent bullying within the workplace.
Anyone who has suffered financial loss, the inability to gain or maintain employment, time off work - either a short period or an ongoing basis, and anyone who has had to pay for treatment costs as a result of workplace bullying may be entitled to workers compensation.
For people who believe they are a victim of workplace bullying, Felix Blumer from Blumers Lawyers has some simple steps to follow.
"Firstly, keep a written diary of all bullying events, if you aren’t already.” he says.
The diary is an excellent tool to both establish the timing and frequency of events. It also presents an opportunity to reflect on an event once the emotion has been removed.
"Secondly, ensure you have been in touch with your company’s HR department, keep copies of all correspondence, and have a copy of your company’s workplace bullying policy handy.” says Blumer.
Blumer also stresses the importance of seeking legal advice sooner, rather than later.
"While it may be hard to seek help, allowing workplace bullying to continue can be detrimental and may lead to further mental distress, or worsening of existing mental conditions. It is really important that anyone who has experienced this kind of behaviour in the workplace get in touch with their HR department and an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.” adds Blumer.
For more information on bullying in the workplace, get in touch with Blumers Lawyers by calling (02) 6208 2600 or emailing email@example.com
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