New Zealand Law Society - WorkSafe reports 178 workplace bullying cases since 2013

WorkSafe reports 178 workplace bullying cases since 2013

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WorkSafe says that from 16 December 2013 to 25 October 2018, it has had 178 recorded cases that indicated bullying in the workplace.

Over that period there were over 40,000 health and safety incidents or events.

It says at present, bullying is a very small proportion of issues raised with WorkSafe, but it is certainly an emerging issue.

WorkSafe investigated 16 of the 178 cases and says 66 were either referred to a more appropriate agency, such as the ERA or Police, or referred to the PCBU to self-manage.

The statistics were obtained following a recent categorisation of complaint types. A keyword search of complaints alleging bullying was applied. WorkSafe says it is possible that not all bullying complaints have been captured.

WorkSafe says studies suggest that between one in five and one in three New Zealand workers report bullying or harassment annually.

"WorkSafe will always have a role in supporting harm prevention activity, although our investigation and enforcement activity is risk based and targeted at the highest risks and harm. This means we will typically only investigate bullying and harassment claims where there is diagnosis of serious mental harm. This is consistent with the approach we take to all risks and harms notified to WorkSafe."

If you experience harassment

People in legal workplaces who have experienced workplace harassment can call the Law Society's Law Care for a range of options for accessing support and assistance on 0800 0800 28.

The Law Care phone line operates from Monday to Thursday between 9am and 7:30pm and on Friday from 9am to 5pm.

A range of other resources and information on bullying and harassment in the legal profession are available.