Workplace bullying is a huge problem in the education sector and can come from people from above, junior staff, colleagues, pupils and even parents, an employment and labour law expert says.
In an extended interview with education editor Antonia Maiolo Helene Lee, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright Australia who is presenting at the upcoming Safety First Conference & Expo held in Melbourne in May defined what bullying is and what teachers can do about it.
“A national survey conducted by researchers from the University of New England in 2009 of over 800 Australian teachers showed that about 99.6 per cent of participants had experienced bullying in the workplace at some stage in their career.
“And according to documents released by the Victorian state government, in the four years prior to the year 2014, over 300 teachers and principals had launched successful work cover claims for harassment and bullying,” Lee said.
She said workplace bullying can take many forms and it can range from subtle, covert, or overt and can occur at work in many different ways from face-to-face, telephone, email, social media or outside the workplace.
“Bullying is repeated, unreasonable behaviour that is directed toward the worker or a group of workers, that creates a risk to health and safety,” she said.
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