Not backing down

More than 50 business leaders showed they would not shy away from the issue of workplace bullying at a forum yesterday.

Facilitated by the Gippsland Trades and Labour Council, the workplace bullying forum was open to all community members and featured specialist speakers.

“My experience is that there still continues to be a stigma attached to making complaints about bullying or suggesting you’ve suffered a psychological injury,” Maurice Blackburn lawyer and speaker Gino Andrieri said.

Mr Andrieri has worked in workers compensation law for 12 years and wished to give participants the take-home message about workplace appropriate behaviour.

“We’re talking about people’s rights and what they should be doing if they experience or witness bullying in the workplace,” he said.

“I think (the forum was) a holistic approach to bullying and the rights and responsibilities of both workers and employers in the workplace.”

Mr Andrieri also highlighted new bullying laws which allow any worker to apply to the Fair Work Commission for an order to stop bullying taking place.

GTLC president Val Prokopiv hoped the forum would provide workplace leaders, employers and delegates with tools to deal with bullying.

“It’s a really difficult issue, it’s such a complex, issue and it’s quite frightening for organisations to be dealing with,” Ms Prokopiv said.

“It’s quite complex but it’s very prevalent and we’re not backing away from it, we want to see what we can do to help, it happens everywhere, there’s nowhere sacred from it, even in the union movement.”