Media Release 01 June 2012: Australian PM backs workplace bullying enquiry as National anti-bullying day enters 4th year - Know Bull! Australia :: Workplace anti-bullying website

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Media Release 01 June 2012: Australian PM backs workplace bullying enquiry as National anti-bullying day enters 4th year

For Immediate Release

Australian PM backs workplace bullying enquiry as National Workplace Anti-Bullying Day enters 4th year

Australia's National Workplace Anti-Bullying Day, Know Bull! Day, enter its 4th year on 03 June 2012, just days out from the Australian PM's recent announcement of a national review into workplace bullying.

"Prime Minister Gillard's announcement is very timely, considering Australia's National Workplace Anti-Bullying Day is just around the corner.  And for those of us who work in this area and know the human and financial costs of workplace bullying, Ms Gillard's endeavours to eradicate workplace bullying from Australian workplaces is indeed welcome," said founder of Know Bull! Australia, Ms Jennifer Wilkins.

The aim of the parliamentary review is to investigate the nature, extent and causes of workplace bullying, and the consideration of proposals to prevent workplace bullying cultures developing.

"Know Bull! addressed a number of these issues in our Extent and Effects of Workplace Bullying Survey Report that was published in 2010, and the results correlated with other major research findings such as the Workplace Bullying Institute-Zogby Workplace Survey, Ms Wilkins said. 

In 2009 when Know Bull! administered the Extent and Effects of Workplace Bullying Survey the signs were pointing to the need for tougher penalties for workplace bullying. 

"Know Bull! has maintained the position that legislative changes regarding workplace bullying are long overdue, and that it was only a matter of time before workplace bullying would be viewed and treated in a similar fashion to other serious crimes involving injury.  Then twelve months after the publication of the Extent and Effects of Workplace Bullying Survey Report, what's become known as 'Brodie's Law', was enacted by the Victorian Parliament," Ms Wilkins said.

Workplace bullying not only affects 'targets', but the families and friends of 'targets'; others who 'witness' bullying in the workplace, and of course - organisations bear huge financial costs.  According to Ms Wilkins, workplace bullying in Australia is estimated to cost somewhere between 6-36 Billion dollars annually, when hidden and lost opportunity costs are considered.

Even in the best of economic climates no organisation, in any country can afford to tolerate workplace bullying, and with time - more workplaces are realising this. 

"Workplace Bullying is not specific to Australia, it's a global occurrence.  Our work assisting organisations in dealing with workplace bullying not only includes Australian businesses and government departments, but large corporates across a range of sectors such as banking, law and healthcare in the United States; Government Departments, workplace safety, and healthcare in Canada; and a variety of businesses and organisations throughout Ireland, Japan and Europe," Ms Wilkins said.

While Know Bull! primarily works with organisations in addressing workplace bullying, they also receive correspondence from individuals who have been the 'targets' of workplace bullying.

"We hear about the impact of workplace bullying firsthand. The toll it takes on people's health; the careers in which so much time and effort has been invested - destroyed; and, the impact on colleagues, finances, family, and friends.

"That's why the National Workplace Anti-Bullying Day, and indeed Workplace Bullying Awareness Month throughout the month of June is so vital.  These initiatives are not about vilifying workplace bullies, they're about creating awareness of the effects and costs associated with workplace bullying, while providing the impetus for organisations to discuss and work with their employees on addressing and preventing it," Ms Wilkins concluded.


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