workplace bully meeting

Editorial

Workplace Bullying

January 14 2019 by Elise Wilson

What you need to know about workplace bullying. No one should turn up to their workplace and be subjected to abuse, intimidation or threats. But unfortunately, for many employees, workplace bullying is a harsh reality. Workplace Bullying can be difficult to identify, or prove that it is occurring. You might not like what’s happening to you at work – but is it bullying? In New Zealand, WorkSafe (the work place health and safety regulatory body) defines it as, “repeated and unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or a group of workers that creates a risk to Health and Safety.”

Bullying takes many forms and can include aggressive behaviour, threats, teasing, being excluded from events, unreasonable work demands, putting unreasonable pressure on you to behave in a certain way or discriminating against an you based on personal characteristics such as race, gender, age or sexual orientation. If you believe this is happening to you, the first step to take is to check if your employer has a workplace bullying policy; read it carefully and follow the steps (employers – you’re strongly encouraged to have one of these).

If there is no policy, but you wish to raise your complaint formally, you should notify your employer as soon as possible because the longer bullying continues, the more difficult it can be to address. It can be a good idea to put your concerns in writing to avoid any misunderstandings. Following a formal notification your employer must be given a reasonable amount of time to investigate the situation and undertake any disciplinary action if necessary. Business owners are under a legal duty to prevent workplace bullying, and to investigate it if notified.

If you are not satisfied with your employer’s response to the situation following a formal notification, you can raise a legal claim against them in the form of a personal grievance. Anyone who is an employee in New Zealand can raise this claim under the Employment Relations Act. This claim must be raised within 90 days of the date the problem happened or it came to the employee’s attention. If the employer and employee can’t come to a resolution, free mediation services are available through the Employment Relations Authority and, if necessary, the Authority can make a ruling for the parties. If your claim is successful, there are a number of options available to you under the Employment Relations Act. Lane Neave is happy to provide you with more information and/or representation in raising this claim with your employer.

Elise Wilson
Lane Neave - Employment Law Specialists

- Elise Wilson
Comments
Please note that care must be taken with the wording of comments. Where possible, avoid negative references to specific businesses or individuals. The Lakes Weekly Bulletin reserves the right to edit or withhold comments. Comments may be reproduced in the printed edition of LWB.

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  • MR GREENY

    Of course there is the other side of the coin, where a is part of a team, but is bone idle, does only the minimum that they can get away with, turns up "hung-over " two or three times a week. Then when other workers pick on him, its a case of "workplace bullying". I have certainly worked with those lazy people , and they deserve everything they get.....

    Posted 15/01/2019 10:41pm (3 months ago)

  • Your Name Here

    @Me.Greeny
    No you’re wrong!
    I have met those kinds as well and I do agree they’re a waste of oxygen but they don’t ‘deserve’ to be bullied specially because you’ll be perpetuating a despicable habit.
    If that person doesn’t do his or hers job fire him/her. Simple as that.

    Posted 16/01/2019 10:30am (3 months ago)

  • Your Name Here

    @Me.Greeny
    No you’re wrong!
    I have met those kinds as well and I do agree they’re a waste of oxygen but they don’t ‘deserve’ to be bullied specially because you’ll be perpetuating a despicable habit.
    If that person doesn’t do his or hers job fire him/her. Simple as that.

    Posted 16/01/2019 10:30am (3 months ago)

  • Point and Post

    If you read between the lines this article is simply a advertorial posing as editorial which could by construed as psychologcial bullying by the LWB.

    Posted 16/01/2019 1:12pm (3 months ago)

  • Lakes Weekly Bulletin

    Appreciate the feedback. There has been a significant number of comments across our platforms on this area and when the opportunity came to provide some advice to those that are impacted, we felt as a community response this was an opportunity we should take. Sorry if it sounds like an advertorial, it certainly had to be a professional approach.

    Posted 17/01/2019 9:57am (3 months ago)

  • Remember

    'Sponsored by Lane Neave"

    Posted 17/01/2019 10:14am (3 months ago)

  • Fair& Square

    ""Name and Shame .Having been in Queenstown for the majority of my working life both in the front line and managerial I would have to say the hardest task masters were the overseas supervisors and mangers.That these people could be particularly brutal on people from their own country's and culture .
    When we counselled them that this is not the way we treat people in New Zealand, the rejoinder often was you don't understand that this how how employees in our country's expect to be treated, or this how we get them to work hard.
    The other matter that Name and Shame" might consider is that while he ör she with the concurrence of the LWB writes comfortably and cowardly under the safety of an pseudonym , perhaps they might like to publish their own name so that the person(s) they have named can test these allegations through the NZ courts,which unlike many of country's that our temporary residents come from", take a dim view of the encroachment of peoples civil rights through unsubstantiated slander and hearsay.

    Posted 19/01/2019 10:10am (3 months ago)

  • Name and Shame

    @unfair & biased:
    Please enlighten us with your worldly experience and do tell which country would consider ‘incentive’ to assault their employees bashing their faces with an object and call them names.
    Also do share in which culture it is considered ‘normal’ to grope their subordinates.
    What you did actually do was to prove my point: in New Zealand - or at least Queenstown - it is the norm to blame the victim. And you didn’t even needed to help prove my point there are other comments saying the victims ‘deserve’ it and they’re a ‘waste of oxygen’.
    I would really love to see the NZ courts take a stance and punish companies who endorse bullying instead of burying their heads in the sand whilst those companies profit millions with slave-like 'employment'…

    Posted 23/01/2019 6:54am (3 months ago)

  • Fair& Square

    Name &Shame.Its been noted that the LWB has already removed one of your unsubstantiated slanders,which you have raised under anonymity. If you are so certain of the matters and names that you have raised why not go to the local Police station and have your claims tested?

    Posted 30/01/2019 12:38pm (3 months ago)

  • Your Name Here

    Just saw today a kiwi supervisor barking at his Philippine staff:

    -come on its 10:25am already till you get there (workplace) it’ll be 10:30am so get on moving!!

    I might be wrong but if the break is till 10:30am it means they stop their break 10:30am not start working 10:30am .
    But hey what a migrant can say to their kiwi slave lords right...?

    Posted 05/02/2019 1:59pm (2 months ago)