New laws to be introduced by the State Government that will deliver far
harsher penalties to workplace bullies will hopefully eventually be seen across
Australia to deter such behaviour nationwide.
Bullies, in extreme cases, could face jail terms of up to 10 years if the
State Government’s proposed amendment to the Crimes Act passes through
The new laws are a response to the tragic case of Brodie Panlock, a café
waitress who suffered chronic bullying at her workplace which provoked her
suicide. The four men responsible for the bullying were fined under the
Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Attorney-General Robert Clark said new provisions would be made to ensure
workplace and online bullying would now be classified as crimes.
VECCI is seeking more detail about the proposed laws to ensure they strike
the right balance. We know that most employers have solid practices in place to
deal with workplace bullies and are aware of their obligations to provide a
safe workplace for all their employees. They will continue to do this in full
knowledge of the future penalties that may apply.
Ultimately we hope a federal approach could be implemented,
as workplace bullying is not exclusive to Victoria, but a nationwide issue.
Many Victorian businesses have interstate offices and bullying does not respect