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Fair Work issues first order on bullying
Aug 10, 2015

Fair Work issues first order on bullying

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time

- Maya Angelou

Since 1 January 2015 the Fair Work Commission has had the power to issue 'anti-bullying' orders and until recently had not issued one.  This could be for any number of reasons - the employees have left their employer, so there is no risk of the bullying continuing in the workplace, the parties settle the matter privately, or no bullying is found to have existed.

The parties involved in the matter were not identified.  The behaviour complained of included:

  • belittling
  • swearing and yelling
  • undermining the work of others
  • physical intimidation
  • threats of violence
  • attempts to incite the applicants to victimise others

An internal investigation was conducted; and  the employer conceded that the behaviour amounted to bullying.  The alleged bully made concessions and supported the outcome, which was a contributing factor to the non-identification of the parties.

Commissioner Hampton said

The contribution of the parties, and their support advisors and representatives to that final outcome, bodes well for the re-establishment of safe and constructive working relationships upon the applicants’ forthcoming return to the workplace.


In this case, it appears that self awareness on the part of the alleged bully, and a willingness to comply with the orders, with support from the employer, has contributed to a successful outcome.

The full text of the decision can be  found here.

Collaboration from all parties assisted in the resolution of the matter.