Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten have announced the Federal Government will conduct a review into bullying in the workplace.


The review will aim to investigate the nature, causes and extent of workplace bullying in the country while considering proposals to prevent bullying cultures developing in the workplace while helping those that have been the victim of workplace bullying.


The announcement comes after the Productivity Commission estimated that workplace bullying sheared off between $6 billion and $36 billion from the economy.


The terms of reference of the review are the following:

  • the prevalence of workplace bullying in Australia and the experience of victims of workplace bullying;
  • the role of workplace cultures in preventing and responding to bullying and the capacity for workplace-based policies and procedures to influence the incidence and seriousness of workplace bullying;
  • the adequacy of existing education and support services to prevent and respond to workplace bullying and whether there are further opportunities to raise awareness of workplace bullying such as community forums;
  • whether the scope to improve coordination between governments, regulators, health service providers and other stakeholders to address and prevent workplace bullying;
  • whether there are regulatory, administrative or cross-jurisdictional and international legal and policy gaps that should be addressed in the interests of enhancing protection against and providing an early response to workplace bullying, including through appropriate complaint mechanisms;
  • whether the existing regulatory frameworks provide a sufficient deterrent against workplace bullying;
  • the most appropriate ways of ensuring bullying culture or behaviours are not transferred from one workplace to another; and
  • possible improvements to the national evidence base on workplace bullying.


The Review will be undertaken by the House Standing Committee on Education and Employment, comprising members from both major parties. It will consult extensively with the community and will report by 30 November 2012.