Concerning bullying
Some new starters will experience bullying in the workplace. You need to know that this type of
behaviour is not acceptable, and probably illegal.
If you feel that you are being bullied at work you need to bring it to the attention of the boss
straightaway. Te boss has a legal obligation to provide a safe place of work. If you feel scared or
threatened at work, then that is an unsafe situation, and the boss must act to remove the bullying
If the boss is the source of bullying (it happens) then you need to bring it to the attention of others.
Tis could be inside the company, if there is a HR person. Or it could be that the company has no
HR person, in which case you need to take your concerns to the Workplace Health and Safety body
in your town.
It is always a good idea to keep detailed records in a diary of any bullying, noting the date, time, who
was involved, any witnesses, the nature of the bullying, what was said or done etc.
Unfair dismissal
If you have been working for an employer for 6 months, or 12 months in a small
business, then you have some protection from being unfairly dismissed.
Laws exist to protect employees from being unfairly treated, and you cannot
be sacked without good reason.
You can be dismissed without any notice period if:
• You act dishonestly (stealing, lying to your employer are typical
• You refuse to obey reasonable work instructions from the
person in charge
• You behave so badly that a reasonable person would not want you
at work (fghting, hooliganism, overly aggressive behaviour, etc.)
Te road to dismissal is usually signposted with a few personal
warnings. If you receive a warning from your employer, take it very
seriously. You don’t have to receive 3 warnings before you are
Te warning should make it very clear what you have been doing wrong. It is then
up to you to get the training or advice to help you perform your duties better.