The absence of a single, nationally accepted definition of what constitutes workplace bullying makes policing and prosecuting it extremely difficult. The federal government launched an inquiry into bullying last month and has received hundreds of submissions from individuals who say they have been victims in workplaces around the nation.

The deputy chairwoman of the Institute of Victoria’s workplace relations section, Moira Rayner, will appear before the House of Representatives committee, and argue that Victorian laws passed last year – known as ”Brodie’s law” – were ineffective because they were not being used by victims of workplace bullying.

”We have to make employers acutely aware that they will pay heavily if they do not run their workplaces so that bullying is outed and dealt with at the earliest possible stage, without any victim having to make a complaint,” Ms Rayner said. She argued that Brodie’s law did not work because it relied on ”humiliated and downtrodden victims to make a complaint, which could result in even further victimization”.

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