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Are you entitled to workplace bullying compensation?

1 August 2018

2 min read


Medical Negligence
Motor Vehicle
Personal Injury
Public Safety
Vehicle Safety
Workers Compensation

If you’re being bullied at work, you don’t have to put up with it – there are things you can do. First of all, get advice. If the behaviour of your boss, colleagues or other people at work is repeated, unreasonable and you feel it’s creating a risk to your psychological health, then it could well amount to ‘workplace bullying’.

If you feel able to, speak to the person who’s bullying you, voice your objections calmly and ask them to stop. If that’s not something you can do, you could consider reporting the problem to your supervisor or employer and explain the situation to them. Employers have a duty to provide a workplace that doesn’t threaten the health or safety of the people who work there, and this includes your psychological health.

In some situations, talking about it with someone other than friends, family or colleagues can be the best way to find out what your options are. A lawyer with experience in dealing with workplace bullying cases will listen to your story and talk with you about the best way to deal with it, including the possibility of compensation for workplace bullying.

Workers compensation claims

One option is to seek workers’ compensation. You need to understand, however, that a claim for psychological injury will only be accepted if there is medical evidence that you’re suffering from a psychological or psychiatric injury. Furthermore, the claim won’t be accepted if your distress is caused by ‘reasonable management action’ – that is, if you’ve been transferred, demoted, disciplined, retrenched, dismissed or otherwise treated in a way that management would argue is reasonable.

Despite the obstacles, thousands of people succeed every year in having their workers’ compensation claims for psychological injury recognised. In 2013-14, for example, there were 5,570 successful claims for ‘mental stress’ Australia-wide, involving on average around 13 weeks off work, with a median payment of $21,100.

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