What is bullying in the workplace?

The Fair Work Act amendments to introduce an anti-bullying regime for national system employers and their employees from 1 January 2014 make it clear that reasonable management action is excluded from prohibited bullying in the workplace.
The express exclusion from bullying behaviour of ‘reasonable management action carried out in a reasonable manner’ (s.789FD(2)), emphasises the rights and obligations of persons conducting a business to take appropriate management action, including responding to poor performance, taking necessary disciplinary action and effectively directing and controlling the way work is carried out. Similar phrases are used in workers’ compensation laws in all jurisdictions to limit the injuries that are compensable under those laws.
It will be very interesting to observe the development of this concept in decided cases in the future by the newly established anti-bullying panel of the Fair Work Commission.