WorkCover rocked by bullying claims

by Cameron Edmond01 Jul 2013

Following a finding from NSW Industrial Relations, WorkCover will be subject to a parliamentary inquiry over bullying, as reported in The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH).  

A senior employee at WorkCover was found to have been “systematically bullied” out of his position. David Shoebridge, Greens MP who recommended the inquiry, told SMH that bullying and mistreatment had been a problem at WorkCover for years, with “reviews and promises” failing to remedy it.

Shoebridge described the ongoing bullying at WorkCover as unacceptable, highlighting the unfortunate irony of this occurring at an organisation that exists to protect all employees from harassment in the workplace.

WorkCover NSW is aware of the problem and eager to resolve it. “Considerable progress has been made in recent years to build a positive and constructive culture within WorkCover NSW and across all agencies within the Safety Return to Work and Support Division,” a WorkCover NSW spokesperson told HC.

“WorkCover welcomes the Parliamentary Inquiry and looks forward to working with the Committee,” they added.

The case brings to light the fact that any workplace is safe from bullying culture if not properly treated. What are you doing in your business to ensure bullying is not a problem?


  • by Clem Wright 2/07/2013 11:14:42 AM

    The simple reality is that if a Chief Executive Officer genuinely does not tolerate bullying in his or her organisation, it won't happen. A proven bullyer will be shown the door quick smart regardless of who they are. This would send an unequivocal message to other potential bullyers in the organisation. But, how often have we all seen that the outcome of a bullying incident is that the victim leaves and the bullyer remains to continue their dastardly deeds ! I worked in an organisation a few years ago where the policy on bullying stated clearly that bullying would not be tolerated. It then went on to describe in detail all the bureaucratic steps an employee had to follow in order to complain about being bullied. The document assumed that bullying would carry on and had processes in place based on this assumption. Mixed messages or what ?

  • by Jean-Marcel Malliaté MDR 24/09/2013 1:22:30 PM

    Whilst I agree with Clem, some people are jst not aware of the bullying spectrum of behaviours and can be unaware of their behavioural impacts. We provide workplace training which is about the prevention of B&H and responsible management. The WHS laws are changing to protect both employees and employers in 2014 and through training in this area,, we will all end up with a more respectful and dignified workplace which allso includes: hospitals, aged care facilities, public service, schools and universities etc. I believe all Australian Parliamentarians should be the first to take up this 70:20:10 turn around education which we provide in identifyinhg and preventing bullying and harassment and actually demonstrate true leadership.

  • by HW The Ethicos Group 25/09/2013 2:30:44 PM

    The Ethicos Group has recognised this problem - what is bullying and harassment, and what is not? - and we have developed a smartphone app which provides diganostics, training, and certification, based on Australian law and practice. Anyone interested should contact me for pre-release details.

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