New bullying laws extend to conduct by contractors and visitors

Under the new anti-bullying laws, introduced as amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 by establishing an anti-bullying panel of the Fair Work Commission, “workers”, which includes not only employees but contractors, subcontractors, and trainees can apply to the Commission if they believe that they are being bullied at work by an individual or group of individuals. The bullies might conceivably include both colleagues and visitors to the employer’s place of work, the intent being to protect employers at the workplace not just from fellow employees.
If the Commission is satisfied that the employee has been bullied, and there is a risk that the employee worker will continue to be bullied, the Commission may make any order it considers appropriate other than an award of financial compensation to prevent the worker from being bullied. Since the new laws require that for the Commission to have jurisdiction there must exist a risk that the worker will continue to be bullied, only currently engaged employees may bring claims, and not employees who are no longer engaged or employed.