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New guidance on online abuse in the workplace

New guidance with practical steps for PCBUs, employers and workers to prevent online abuse in the workplace have been developed by Safe Work Australia and eSafety.

Online abuse is behaviour that uses technology to threaten, intimidate, bully, harass or humiliate someone. It can take place on social media, online chat, and messaging services, by telephone (calls and text messages), email or any other technology used at the workplace.

Online abuse at work can come from customers, clients or members of the public, or it can happen between workers, supervisors and managers. It can also happen when working away from the usual workplace.

Tips for employers include:

  • identify how, where and when online abuse might happen
  • assess the likelihood that a worker may experience online abuse and how it may affect them
  • apply control measures to prevent online abuse from happening, and have processes to address it if it does happen
  • check your control measures are working and if there is more you can do.

Workers and health and safety representatives must be consulted at each of these steps.

Tips for workers include asking for the abuse to stop; removing themself from the situation; asking for help, and reporting abusive content to their employer. There is also information on seeking support and keeping records.

Further information

Read the Online abuse in the workplace guidance.