Workplace bullying and harassment

Each year, one in five employees in New Zealand workplaces report they have experienced bullying.
Bullying not only affects individuals but also the productivity of organisations.

WorkSafe NZ defines workplace bullying as repeated and unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or a group of workers that can lead to physical or psychological harm. The behaviour is persistent (occurs more than once) and can involve a range of actions over time.

People targeted often feel they are unable to protect themselves due to real or perceived power imbalances. 
People who are bullied are more likely to experience mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. They are also more vulnerable to experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Bullying generally has four key elements:

  • The target person is exposed to unwanted negative acts 
  • The negative acts are repeated regularly 
  • They occur over a prolonged period of time
  • Targets often feel they are unable to protect themselves due to power imbalances.

Taking part in Pink Shirt Day is one way to take a stand against bullying in the workplace. Check out the Pink Shirt Day website for ideas, inspiration and resources.