When we think of bullying in schools, it’s easy to immediately go to the idea of students bullying other students. But what about teachers who are facing unprecedented pressures in their workload and who too often suffer bullying from students, parents, colleagues or principals? Teachers (and all employees) have the right to work in a safe environment, free from bullying and harassment.
Here we unpack what teachers can do about bullying and explain how to make a stress claim.
What is workplace bullying?
Workplace bullying is the abuse of a person by someone else in a workplace setting. It can happen to anyone in a workplace, not just employees. This includes volunteers, interns, and casual or temporary workers. It can be physical, verbal, social or psychological.
Common examples of workplace bullying include:
Insulting, intimidating, or sexually explicit behaviours directed at a person;
Deliberately assigning tasks over a period of time which cannot be realistically completed; and/or
Excluding a person from working with others.
What teachers can do about bullying
If you’re a teacher experiencing workplace bullying there are steps you can take to stand up for yourself and protect your rights.
Seek support from someone you trust. Talk to a trusted co-worker, your direct manager or your workplace’s health and safety officer about the behaviour you’re experiencing.
Report the behaviour verbally and in writing. Your workplace should have an internal complaints procedure designed to address bullying and harassment.
Speak to your treating doctor. To be eligible for a Workers Compensation claim, you must be able to provide a medical certificate to support the physical and/or psychological injury.
Seek legal advice. That’s where our team of Workers Compensation experts can help. We will assess your situation and provide advice on the best course of action. You can consult a lawyer at any stage of the process.
Sometimes workplace bullying can have serious, long-term consequences for the worker. Bullied teachers may be eligible to make a stress claim for workers compensation if the source of the stress at work is easily identifiable and has had a profound impact on their life.
Our client Rebecca*
Rebecca was an experienced teacher aide who developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression after an incident with a student. The school had failed to put measures in place or provide an appropriate plan to protect Rebecca. Our team of expert workers compensation lawyers successfully helped Rebecca make a stress claim and secure the compensation she deserved to move forward with her life.
How we can help you right wrong
If you’re suffering from a psychological injury that occurred at work, was caused by work, or you’ve made a stress claim that has been rejected, get in touch today for an obligation-free consultation. Our team can help you understand your rights and entitlements; we’ll provide advice tailored to your situation, lay out all the options and have your back each step of the way.