What is bullying?

Bullying in the workplace is defined as 'repeated, unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or group of workers that creates a risk to health and safety'. A single incident or reasonable workplace action is not bullying.

Information provided by SafeWork NSW and SafeWork Australia in relation to bullying is applicable to all workplaces across NSW.

Who should I contact?

If I have been bullied?

Depending on your issue, the NSW Department of Industry, Division of Resources & Energy, Mine Safety (NSW Mine Safety) may not be the right (or only) agency to contact.

You can notify NSW Mine Safety if you work in a mining workplace, what happened to you meets the definition of bullying and:

  • you have reported it to your workplace and there has been no action, or you believe the action taken was inappropriate, or
  • you are unable to report it in your workplace because there is no procedure or you are concerned for your health and safety.

To notify us of bullying, please go to our bullying notification page.

If what happened to you does not meet the definition of bullying but could be classed as discrimination, unfair dismissal or violent threats and / or behaviour, see the following sections.

If I have been discriminated against?

Contact the Anti-Discrimination Board if the issue is mainly about:

  • sex
  • pregnancy
  • breastfeeding
  • race
  • homosexuality
  • disability
  • age carer's responsibilities
  • marital or domestic status 
  • transgender status.

If I have been unfairly or unlawfully dismissed?

Contact the Fair Work Commission if the issue is mainly about unfair dismissal or unlawful termination.

If someone has threatened violence or been physically violent?

Contact NSW Police if the issue involves physical violence or the threat of it. You can also notify NSW Mine Safety if it involves work-related violence.

What are my rights at work?

Contact the Fair Work Ombudsman if the issue is mainly about:

  • not being paid the right amount
  • being forced to do things against your will
  • being discriminated against
  • not getting the right amount of leave or other conditions you're entitled to
  • being threatened by your employer
  • a sham contract.

A stop bullying order

If you believe you have been bullied at work, you may be eligible to apply to the Fair Work Commission for an order to stop the bullying.

Where can I go for emotional support?

The following services may help if you need emotional support:

  • Lifeline on 13 11 14 – 24-hour counselling service providing emotional support in times of crisis
  • Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511 – 24-hour support service across NSW that can connect you with a mental health professional
  • Headspace on (02) 9114 4100 – a national youth mental health foundation that helps young people between 12 and 25 who are going through a tough time.