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Nearly half of Australians have suffered bullying or harassment at work

According to new research, 45 per cent of Australians have experienced bullying or harassment at work due to their gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability.

Findings from global recruitment firm Hays show a startling number of Australians experiencing bullying or harassment in the workplace.

Almost one-half (45 per cent) of Australian professionals have experienced bullying or harassment at work due to their gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability, a survey of over 1,000 people across Australia and New Zealand found.

The figure rises to 64 per cent for people living with a disclosed disability, 58 per cent for people who identify as LGBTIQ+, 50 per cent for women and 50 per cent for mature-age people, it continued. Although less men than women overall report bullying or harassment, at 37 per cent, it is still alarmingly high.

“When asked what steps were taken to stop the bullying or harassment, 41 per cent of respondents said none,” the report noted.

“A further 15 per cent of those who experienced bullying and harassment chose to leave the organisation rather than report the behaviour. Other respondents said they reported the issue to HR, a team leader, supervisor or manager and it was resolved promptly to their satisfaction. This often involved mediation or the appointment of an investigator.”

Hays Australia and New Zealand managing director Nick Deligiannis said the recruitment firm carried out the research “through a diversity and inclusion lens since bullying and harassment cuts through many of the key diversity and inclusion considerations we have identified through talking to both employers and professionals”.

“Measures range from the formal letter of the law, sanctions and workplace guides to day-to-day awareness of leaders and managers and the behaviours of all employees. However, given our findings, it seems that despite a growing awareness of the problem, more needs to be done to stop harassment and bullying at work – for all demographic groups,” he said.

Hays suggests employers could start by becoming aware of anti-bullying laws and follow correct procedures – if they aren’t doing so already.

Jerome Doraisamy

Jerome Doraisamy

Jerome Doraisamy is a senior writer for Lawyers Weekly and Wellness Daily at Momentum Media.

Before joining the team in early 2018, Jerome is admitted as a solicitor in New South Wales and, prior to joining the team in early 2018, he worked in both commercial and governmental legal roles and has worked as a public speaker and consultant to law firms, universities and high schools across the country and internationally. He is also the author of The Wellness Doctrines self-help book series and is an adjunct lecturer at The University of Western Australia.

Jerome graduated from the University of Technology, Sydney with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Social Inquiry).

You can email Jerome at: [email protected] 

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“Kindness is the language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain