Australian roundtable podcast on workplace bullying

On 21 May 2010, Boardroom Radio (BRR) released a podcast on workplace bullying that includes opinions from some worthy speakers.

Andrew Douglas, Managing Director at Douglas LPT;

Wayne Blair, Fair Work Australia Commissioner;

Gail Hubble, Barrister; and

Anna Palmer, HR Consultant, at Provenio Consulting

Some of the questions are a little peculiar such as whether current generations are more “vulnerable” to bullying.  Speakers responded that there are more opportunities for bullying now due to new technologies but the question smacked or the abhorrent moves to address bullying through “resilience training” rather than addressing the cause.

The most useful opinions on prevention came from Commissioner Blair and Andrew Douglas who stressed that commitment to the enforcement of policies is crucial to reducing harm.

When the workplace bullying push originated in Victoria almost 20 years ago, there was often a glib mention that some of the worst bullies in workplaces were union representatives.  This reflected the perception that tough industrial negotiations can be confronting but not necessarily fit the definition of bullying.

Douglas and Blair, in the BRR podcast discuss recent issues where bullying accusations were made during industrial negotiations on enterprise bargaining.  Blair acknowledges that in “robust negotiations” it is possible to become personally abusive and he concedes that this verges on bullying.

Kevin Jones

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