Workplace bullying laws in Australia: Placebo or panacea?

Anne Helena O'Rourke, Sarah Kathryn Antioch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Workplace bullying remains a substantial problem in many developed countries. It is estimated to cost the Australian economy over AUD 6 billion annually, the Irish economy at least 3 billion pounds and the US around US 300 billion. In 2012 the Australian Government established a parliamentary inquiry into workplace bullying that resulted in the creation of a specific bullying jurisdiction within the Fair Work Commission to deal with the issue. This paper provides an overview and critical analysis of the new jurisdiction, comparing it to approaches in Europe and the United States. The paper argues for the adoption of stricter penalties, including criminal sanctions with considerable fines and uncapped compensation, as the most effective deterrent to toxic workplace cultures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3 - 26
Number of pages24
JournalCommon Law World Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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