Use space to open navigation items


Learn more about good work
Get the latest national work health and safety news and evidence.

Bullying is the repeated and unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or a group of workers, and is considered a risk to health and safety under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act).

Failure to take steps to manage this risk could result in a breach of the Act.

Workplace bullying can include:

  • Abusive, insulting or offensive language or comments
  • Aggressive or intimidating conduct
  • Practical jokes or initiation
  • Unjustified criticism or complaints
  • Setting tasks that are unreasonably below or beyond a person’s skill level.


  • Don't be a silent witness
  • Don't tolerate bullying
  • Check your own behaviour

Potential harm

For individuals

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Stress

For employers

  • Higher absenteeism
  • Lower productivity
  • Low morale
  • Costly workers’ compensation claims or legal action

Prevention and managing risks


  • Work stressors
  • Leadership styles
  • Systems of work
  • Workplace relationships


  • Ensure effective policies are in place, setting the standard for workplace behaviour and management commitment.
  • Ensure there are effective procedures that address safe systems of work, reporting and responding to incidents.
  • Provide relevant training and information, including APS code of conduct and awareness of bullying and harassment matters.
  • Provide access to a support network such as an employee assistance program or mediation service.
Page last reviewed: 05 May 2022

Comcare (Office Safety tool)
GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT 2601
1300 366 979 |

Date printed 25 Apr 2024