VICTORIA has followed up NSW’s concerns that bullying poses a significant threat to workplace harmony in legal firms with a new booklet aimed at providing assistance to victims of bullying.
Victoria’s WorkCover Minister and Attorney General, Rob Hulls, who launched the publication, pointed out that in 2001/02, workplace bullying claims to WorkCover totalled almost $57 million.
Workplace violence and bullying:Your rights, what to do and where to go for help, produced by WorkSafe Victoria and Job Watch, provides information to employees on what constitutes bullying and how they can take action and seek assistance to deal with bullying.
Concerns about bullying reached great heights last year in NSW and, consequently, Lawyers Weekly delved into the issue of bullying in NSW legal firms.
Also, the NSW Law Society gathered statistics in its Remuneration and Work Conditions Report, which showed that more lawyers than ever were prone to being bullied. The statistics revealed that many lawyers didn’t know what to do in the face of bullying.
Young Lawyers (YL) within the NSW Law Society expressed great disappointment last year when its recommendation to reform the Legal Profession Act 1987 to make bullying join the same ilk of anti-social behaviour as discrimination and harassment, was deferred until September this year.
Job Watch Executive Director Zana Bytheway said the booklet, which can be downloaded from WorkSafe Victoria’s website, had been translated into 13 languages so that all Victorians could gain an understanding of workplace bullying.