INFO FOR TARGETS

If you are aware or suspect that you are being targeted by bullying behaviour at work, here are some general considerations.  Please remember, however, that each workplace bullying situation has its individual features. 

 

More detailed information and discussion 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 professional advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Before making decisions about your individual circumstances you must seek advice from appropriately qualified professionals.  You must not delay in seeking professional health care or other advice or disregard it because of information provided on this website
 

FAQs For Targets

Know Your Rights


Find out more about your rights and responsibilities with respect to workplace health and safety in your jurisdiction. Find out which agencies may be able to assist you (e.g. workplace safety authorities, equal opportunity authorities, human rights groups, other government agencies). Contact your local workplace health and safety authority for information including the contact details of external agencies that may be of assistance.




Seek Information


If you suspect you are being exposed to unacceptable behaviours at work, the first thing to do is become well informed about what may be happening. Seek as much clarity as possible about whether what is happening to you may or may not constitute workplace bullying. Is it bullying? Harassment? Discrimination? Violence? A combination of these? Or is it something that is not yet of concern? You may want to ask someone you trust, such as a friend or partner, if they consider the behaviour to be unreasonable or not in the circumstances. Assuming that you consider you are being targeted by workplace bullying behaviour, and it is going unchecked, establish whether or not the workplace has current policies and procedures about it and obtain the most recent copies. It is important for you to know the workplace policy. Should you decide to proceed, be as well-prepared as possible for each stage of the process. If you decide to make a report, You should find out exactly what the reporting procedure involves before embarking on it. Making a report usually involves communicating the alleged behaviours to the appropriate person or department within or outside the organisation in writing, or on an appropriate form. You should also find out what the process is following your report (ie. who will do what and by when, and how will this be communicated to you?).




Collect Evidence


Assuming you suspect or are convinced that you are being targeted by workplace bullying, keep detailed notes and any other available evidence about what is happening. Gather evidence about your own work performance in case it comes under scrutiny during investigations. Stick to the objective facts. If you have reported the issue within your workplace, keep hard copies of the report and when, how and to whom the report was made. Keep your records, or copies of them, off-site. Also keep copies of any responses you received to reports or memos. If there is no response, record this also. Records need to include dates, places, times, names of people who were present and their contact details where possible, as well as what was said. Records that are contemporaneous (i.e. documented at the time that the events happened) are preferable. Other kinds of evidence might include copies of CCTV footage; emails; roster documents; log-book entries; training records; performance management reports; policies and procedures that were current at the time of the events; annual reports; job descriptions; worker's compensation forms; medical certificates and reports; meeting minutes; diary entries; risk management documentation; all relevant incident reporting forms; relevant notes/memos with dates and circulation details; dated, relevant photographic evidence; statutory declarations. Do not make audio or visual recordings/photographs of people without their express permission.




Seek Assistance


Being the target of workplace bullying can be an emotionally painful experience. Whilst experiencing emotional pain, it is a good idea to obtain support and professional assistance. For example, you may decide to consult your general medical practitioner (GP) so that your health can be monitored and documented by a professional third party. Your GP may refer you other professionals or agencies, for counselling or advice. If you belong to a union, you may choose to discuss the situation with your delegate.




Request Advice


Being the target of workplace bullying can be an emotionally painful experience. Whilst experiencing emotional pain, it is a good idea to obtain support and professional assistance. For example, you may decide to consult your general medical practitioner (GP) so that your health can be monitored and documented by a professional third party. Your GP may refer you other professionals or agencies, for counselling or advice. If you belong to a union, you may choose to discuss the situation with your delegate.