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    ALMOST ONE IN THREE YOUNG PEOPLE CAUGHT UP IN WORKPLACE BULLYING

    7 August 2012

    The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Employment has a public hearing in Adelaide today (7/8/12), State Parliament.  SA Unions and the Young Workers Legal Service are presenting a submission.

    A recent survey has revealed that almost one in three young people have been bullied or have witnessed bullying at work.

    SA Unions State Secretary, Janet Giles says the Australia-wide survey, by Essential Research, has found some deeply concerning statistics about the rate of workplace bullying.

    "Thirteen per cent of people between the ages of 18 and 34 said they had been bullied at work, with another 19% having witnessed it."

    "We know from our other work with young people that they are less familiar with their rights at work, and are more often in part-time or casual work where they worry that if they speak out they will lose their jobs."

    "What's most concerning about the survey is that 65% of the bullying is reported to have come from employers or managers."

    "This figure rises to 74% for those in part-time work."

    "These are the people with the power to hire and fire, increasing the likelihood that young people will feel intimidated into remaining silent."

    "We clearly need stronger national laws against bullying to stop it happening in the first place, rather than dealing with it when it has already occurred."

    Coordinator of the Young Workers Legal Service, Anne Purdy says the Service took 450 calls last financial year, and a huge number of them related to workplace bullying.

    "We see this as a major occupational health and safety issue for young people."

    "It is a dreadful thing to happen to them in what is often their first job, and the cases we have seen reveal young people suffer depression, anxiety and are unable to work as a result."

    "We have seen some cases where this behaviour is excused as some kind of work 'initiation'.

    "But it is wrong, and it leaves young people feeling that all work involves bullying, and they become afraid to try again in another job."

    Workplace Bullying

    Q.  Over the last 2 or 3 years, have you been subjected to bullying at work or witnessed bullying of any of your work colleagues?

      Total Men Women Aged
    18-34
    Aged
    35-54
    Aged
    55+
    Full
    time
    Workers
    Part
    time
    Workers
    I have been bullied at work 13% 10% 15% 14% 16% 7% 14% 14%
    I have witnessed bulling at work 19% 19% 19% 23% 21% 12% 25% 20%
    Total
    bullied/
    witnessed bullying
    26% 25% 27% 30% 30% 15% 34% 25%
    No, I haven't been bullied or witnessed bullying 55% 56% 55% 56% 58% 49% 62% 64%
    I don't work 15% 14% 16% 5% 10% 35% - -
    Don't know 4% 5% 2% 9% 2% 1% 4% 11%

    Source of Workplace Bullying

    If been bullied or witnessed bullying
    Q. Was the bullying coming from -

      Total Men Women Aged
    18-34
    Aged
    35-54
    Aged
    55+
    Full
    time
    Workers
    Part
    time
    Workers
    Managers or employers 65% 67% 64% 61% 69% 69% 63% 74%
    Other work colleagues 48% 45% 50% 51% 48% 48% 43% 44%
    Customers or clients 15% 16% 14% 18% 16% 5% 14% 23%
    Other people 2% 2% 2% 3% 2% * 2% 1%

     

           
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