Workplace bullying the elephant in the room - expert

Morning Talk 29/03/2018

A workplace bullying expert says employers pay lip-service to the issue.

Allan Hulse from Culture Safe NZ says there is nowhere an employee can go to get help when being bullied.

“In New Zealand, there is nowhere an employee can go, there is no Government agency where you can go to for help” he told RadioLIVE.

Workplace bullying can be subtle, explained Mr Hulse, like giving unreasonable deadlines or setting employees up for failure.

He said the latest figures show around 400,000 New Zealanders have experienced workplace bullying, but Culture Safe sees some of the country’s worst cases.

“We are seeing some really horrific stuff,” he said.

“[Employers] don’t actually care about the victims of workplace bullying,” he said.

According to Mr Hulse, employers are able to sidestep the issue because personal grievances must be filed within 90 days of the bullying.

But Mr Hulse reminds listeners that bullying often happens over long periods of time, making a bullying case nearly impossible to formally report.

Meanwhile Minister of Justice Andrew Little has reconfirmed his commitment to holding the legal profession to account over sexual harassment and bullying in the workplace.

Former lawyer Olivia Wensley, who recently spoke out about her own experience of sexual harassment, met with the Minister to talk about the issue.

While he has made no promises to Ms Wensley, she said she felt reassured he was serious about the problem.

Listen to the full interview with Allan Hulse above.

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