Prevention of bullying and harassment

ANU is committed to ensuring staff and students are treated with integrity and respect. All members of ANU have the right to work and study in an environment free from discrimination, harassment and bullying.  

The ANU Code of Conduct sets standards for personal and professional behaviour and requires staff to treat students, other staff members and members of the community with respect, and to refrain from bullying or harassing behaviour.

Where do I go to for help?

Depending on the concerns that you raise, there are a number of relevant policies and procedures for responding to concerns of bullying and harassment. The following people are available to speak to for support and advice on the appropriate action to take.

• your direct supervisor (or their supervisor if the matter directly involves them)

Human Resource Division

Local area human resources

Advisor to Staff

Work Environment Group , or

• your representative association.

For further information please refer to the Fact Sheet in the reference documents at right.

Identifying and preventing bullying in the workplace

Bullying behaviour may be subtle and not easy to observe for other people or it may be overt and noticeable to others. There are a range of behaviours that could be considered as bullying including:

• aggressive and intimidating conduct

• belittling or humiliating comments

• victimisation

• spreading malicious rumours

• practical jokes

• exclusion from work-related events, and

• unreasonable work expectations.

Action such as legitimate comment, criticism and advice, including relevant negative comment or feedback, from supervisors or academics on the work, study performance or behaviour of an individual or group, and carried out in a reasonable manner, would not be workplace bullying.

Workplace bullying often results in significant negative consequences for an individual’s health and wellbeing such as depression, anxiety, sleep disruption, nausea and physiological complaints.

For further information on what is and isn’t workplace bullying, please refer to the Fact Sheet in the reference documents at right.

All members of ANU play a role in preventing and managing bullying at work. Below are some of the approaches that you can use to foster a positive workplace culture based on respect in which bullying behaviour is not tolerated:

• be proactive in communicating standards of expected behaviour as set out in the ANU Code of Conduct,

• treat everyone with dignity and respect and cultivate productive, respectful working relationships,

• manage workplace stressors and risks and ensure work goals are appropriate and realistic,

• provide regular and respectful performance feedback,

• identify and act to address bullying behaviours early, and

• follow the ANU policy and procedures if standards of expected behaviour are not met.

What is unlawful harassment?

Unlawful harassment can occur in an employment or education context. A staff member or student can experience unlawful harassment by a student or group of students, a co-worker or group, an academic, a supervisor, a contractor or a service provider.

Harassment is unlawful if it is directed at a person because of their race, colour, national or ethnic origin; sex; disability; sexuality; or any other personal characteristic protected under anti-discrimination legislation.

Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advance or unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature which makes the other person feel offended, humiliated or intimidated.