Employers warned to stamp out bullying
EMPLOYERS and employees in the Bundaberg region have been warned to treat workplace bullying the same way they would any workplace safety issue.
The warning comes after independent research commissioned by national law firm Slater & Gordon found 39% of workers surveyed in regional Queensland said they had been bullied at work.
In Metropolitan areas the figure was only 31%.
About 35,000 people make up the Bundaberg workforce, according to Bureau of Statistics' figures.
Slater and Gordon lawyer Karen Simpson said bullying could have a devastating impact on a person's self-esteem and enjoyment of work and when not dealt with, could result in a workplace injury and health issues for workers.
However, Ms Simpson said it was important workers knew the difference between workplace bullying, performance management activities, and one-off incidences.
"What is notable about workplace bullying is the sustained or repeated negative behaviour that can impact on a worker's health and happiness; something employers shouldn't overlook," she said.
"I have spoken to many people who have contacted the firm to seek help about the damaging impacts of workplace bullying."
The research found females in Queensland were more likely to believe they had been the victims of workplace bullying (36%) than their male colleagues (34%).
Nationally, co-workers were the most common culprits, responsible for 53% of bullying cases, followed by managers (47%), supervisors (36%) and business owners (16%).
Survey participants who responded that they believed they had been bullied were asked to identify the behaviours they had experienced that led to their perception that they had been bullied.
The most common was being regularly spoken to in a hostile, derogatory or condescending manner (72%).
Other commonly-reported perceived workplace bullying behaviours:
Being blamed for others' mistakes (60%).
Others stealing credit for your work (60%).
Spreading gossip or false or malicious rumours (51%).
Abuse based on gender, race, sexuality or religion (31%).
Less common forms of workplace bullying included physical violence or threats of violence (10%).
Do you think you have been bullied in the workplace?
This poll ended on 22 March 2013.
Not at all
No but I have seen it happen to others
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.