Bullying still a real problem in ACT workplaces

Photo: ACT Greens

A survey conducted by ACT Greens revealed that bullying is still a real problem in ACT workplaces, and that many cases commonly go unreported.

“The survey results not only show that bullying remains a real problem in ACT workplaces, but that bullying incidents commonly go unreported. People who do report bullying incidents are frequently dissatisfied with the response they receive,” says Greens Industrial Relations spokesperson, Amanda Bresnan.

“The feedback and comments from the survey shows that we need greater support for victims and more proactive prevention strategies to help bring positive changes to workplace cultures.

The survey showed that:

  • 75% of the 135 respondents said they had experienced workplace bullying and 63% of these incidents occurred in the last 12 months;
  • 79% of respondents said they had witnessed bullying in the workplace;
  • Almost half of all incidents went unreported;
  • 85% of people who reported bullying incidents said they were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the response they received.

Majority of the respondents (82%) also said that WorkSafe ACT should employ inspectors with specialised expertise in bullying matters.

“This year I proposed legislation to address workplace bullying. It would have created specialist positions in WorkSafe to deal with bullying and establish an expert advisory committee on the issue. Both Labor and Liberal voted against these important reforms and seem to think the status quo is acceptable,” said Ms Bresnan.

“The survey has provided an indication of the extent of underreporting, reasons for underreporting, and people’s attitudes towards the complaints resolution process. It is important information, as the ACT Government only collects data on bullying incidents that are reported by employees.

“The ACT Government hasn’t conducted a survey like this itself. We asked the Government to distribute our survey to all ACT Public Servants, which it could easily have done through its email bulletins. It refused to do this.

“Bullying is an issue that is seriously affecting people’s health and wellbeing, and costing billions of dollars a year in lost productivity. We’ll continue to pursue this issue because we know there are significant positive gains to be made,”


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