Give VPS employees access to anti bullying orders.

Give VPS employees access to anti bullying orders.

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Megan Parolin started this petition to Daniel Andrews (Premier of Victoria) and

The VPSC's People Matter Survey results consistently show that in the Victorian Public Service:

  • 1 in 4 or 25% of people witness behaviour they believe is bullying
  • 1 in 5 or 20% of people experience behaviour they believe is bullying. 

The avenues of redress for VPS staff are limited and staff on average have little faith that their problems will be properly addressed, and some fear that they will be subject to retaliation for lodging a grievance. Disturbingly, only 19% of those experiencing bullying submit a formal complaint, and of those that do, only 26% are satisfied with the way it was handled. 

(Source: VPSC's Data Insights 3 - Bullying in the Victorian Public Sector)

These figures have barely changed in over a decade. The VPSC appear to not have measured the effectiveness of their resources or published any information about the work they have allegedly done under their strategic agenda titled 'VPSC Driving Anti Bullying Reforms'. It is unclear what, if any, assistance VPSC provides to public sector employees experiencing or trying to deal with bullying in their workplace. 

Externally, complaints to WorkSafe can take over 12 months to be investigated and the delay and quality of outcomes typically leaves much to be desired by those affected by the bullying.


The only other option for VPS staff appears to be litigation for breaches of the Public Administration Act, however like worker's compensation, this is too late, incredibly stressful and needs the damage from bullying to have already been done. It is also prohibitively expensive.


VPS staff should not:

  • feel that they have no option but to tolerate bullying,
  • fear retaliation for making a complaint about bullying,
  • wait in excess of 12 months for their complaints to be investigated (and usually poorly at that), or
  • have to wait until they have no capacity to work and have to pursue compensation via WorkCover or the Public Administration Act

VPS employees should have the same rights as other employees to pursue anti bullying orders at the Fair Work Commission. These are comparatively simple and quick to obtain and are legally enforceable. 


Please amend the Fair Work Act 2009 to allow this to happen. 

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