This section provides brief information for managers and employers.  More detailed information and discussion of the risk management approach may be found in the following book:  Caponecchia C. & Wyatt A. (2011) Preventing workplace bullying: An evidence-based guide for managers and employees. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. 

Disclaimer: The information provided on this website is of a general nature only.  It is not intended as a substitute for detailed professional advice. 

All employers should be aware of the new Fair Work Commission powers to make orders to stop workplace bullying, which came into effect from January 1, 2014. Employers should also be familiar with the recently released guidance material, on preventing and responding to workplace bullying, released by Safe Work Australia.


In all jurisdictions in Australia, the employer has a duty of care to provide a healthy and safe workplace.  This extends to the physical and psychological well-being of all employees.


This means that the employer is responsible for taking proactive steps to recognise, assess and control hazards including psychological hazards such as bullying behaviour.  


In relation to bullying behaviours, just as with any other workplace hazards, the employer has the following broad responsibilities:

  • To be informed about workplace bullying and other unacceptable workplace behaviours.  This would include understanding the employer’s responsibilities in relation to controlling the hazard of workplace bullying.  Employers should also know what constitutes best practice in relation to managing workplace bullying.  See Resources

  • To commit resources to the prevention and management of unacceptable behaviours at work such as workplace bullying.

  • To develop, maintain and continuously improve a risk management system in relation to workplace bullying.

  • To obtain commitment from senior staff to thoroughly implement and continuously improve the risk management system.

  • To formally consult with employees at all levels about the development of prevention policies and procedures in relation to workplace bullying.

  • To undertake ongoing risk assessment and hazard monitoring in relation to bullying behaviours at work.

  • To promote awareness through the provision of training, instruction, information and engagement for example through discussion, meetings and supervision.

  • To ensure the provision of appropriate risk controls through various initiatives including the development of early notification systems and the handling of complaints in a competent, impartial, confidential and timely manner.

  • To provide support and advice to all stakeholders as required using internal and/or external services/expertise

  • To ensure that all line and senior managers are competent to carry out their duty of care (eg. in relation to receiving and acting upon reports of workplace bullying and related issues; in relation to supporting staff, and ensuring their safety and wellbeing).

We are available to consult with your organisation regarding your health and safety systems, programs and procedures.