The following article from “The Conversation” expresses concern toward false accusations of bullying in the workplace. Regardless of opinion to be a victim of bullying or accused of bullying is serious. A safe means of reporting and gleening evidence without bias needs further consideration.
False workplace bullying claims – we’re not seeing an epidemic
The notion that we need a tribunal for workplace bullying claims is a good one. We need a place for people to go and report bullying without fear. I’d predict that with such a mechanism, and the clear implementation of criteria, reports would increase, at least in the short term (as was the case with so-called “repetitive strain injury”), but false reports would be easily weeded out so that appropriate and necessary actions can be taken.
A place for victims of workplace violence to report their experiences is not an unreasonable consideration.
Some time ago I became aware of an incident where a bullying victim was pressured into making a formal complaint.
A tormented victim of abusive behaviours from a number of employees in a work place, after making the complaint to HR, the bullies taunted the victim of not being able to produce a witness. Whilst waiting for the six month process of the HR to arrange a mediation, the disrespectful taunts continued both in the workplace and by email.
A scenario of exclusive control and domination. HR did nothing. The Workcover process lengthy, difficult and a level of distress the victim didn’t feel they could cope. Some of these bullies moved to other departments where similar complaints emerged.
I questioned would the outcome been different if the victim, bystanders, families and professionals were able to contact a bullying support-line? Where the names of all involved ,workplaces and behavioural patterns be accumulated, then confidentially, investigated by an independent body, having repeat offenders revealed and victims helped.
If bullying becomes an issue where a mental health professional is required the bullying needs to be mandatory reported. Anyone reporting is immediately covered by the whistle blowers act. This article touches on this issue.I would be interested in what others think. It’s one thing to say,” deal with bullying” but we need some strategies to achieve safety for those reporting.
[Mentioned source: The conversation: http://theconversation.edu.au/false-workplace-bullying-claims-were-not-seeing-an-epidemic-4479]