Job insecurity leads to false bullying claims

With the downturn affecting job security, an increasing number of employees are lodging false bullying claims in an effort to protect their jobs, according to Harmers Workplace Lawyers.

The scary new trend has seen an increase in the number of employees lodging false claims of bullying from their employers and exaggerated workplace allegations, to protect themselves from losing their jobs.

Joydeep Hor, managing partner of Harmers Workplace Lawyers, has seen a significant increase in false bullying claims in recent months, with employees running scared in the current economic climate.

“When employees feel that their employment is threatened, many feel cornered and helpless and some even decide to take matters into their own hands to protect themselves.”

Hor has urged employers to be careful about how they treat their staff and to not put them under excessive pressure or set impossibly high standards. Hor believes employees can take such pressure to heart and feel threatened or harassed.

“The law is clear that legitimate performance management cannot be seen as bullying… however these situations are open to be easily misconstrued or form the basis of an exaggerated bullying claim.”

He has provided the following tips to employers in relation to their staff:

  • Develop a policy that prohibits workplace harassment and bullying
  • Train all staff regarding compliance with the policy
  • Remind managers of their obligations under OH&S laws in the context of staff treatment
  • Be vigilant of employee behaviour
  • Investigate any allegation of bullying properly, even if it is suspected that the claim is false

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