Bosses in Australia are increasingly becoming scared of lazy staff for fear of being accused of bullying or harassment, a new report on workplace-bullying has revealed.
Experts claim that laws, which have been designed to stamp out workplace bullying, are being hijacked by disgruntled workers, who are making wild and unsubstantiated claims.
Although the laws were designed to protect workers, workplace law expert Joydeep Hor said organisations and managers are becoming "gun shy".
"They have apprehensions there will be allegations of bullying or harassment," the Herald Sun quoted Hor, the founder of workplace law firm People and Culture Strategies, as saying.
The inquiry report found that said some workers were taking advantage of the fact that bullying colleagues at work 'is in the spotlight.'
"You know, 'If something happens to me in the workplace that I don't like I will put a label on it of it amounting to bullying.' As with any unfortunate labels there's certainly a lot of that politicking that goes around," he said.
According to the paper, workers' compensation agency Comcare said that the number of "mental harm" claims lodged by federal bureaucrats surged 30 per cent in three years.
"Anecdotal evidence shows many managers are afraid to engage in performance management action due to fear of being labelled a bully," Comcare said.
New research presented to the inquiry has also shown one in three workers has been sworn or yelled at on the job, while six per cent have been assaulted or threatened, and almost one in four workers has felt humiliated in front of others, the paper said.
One in five has reported "discomfort" due to sexual jokes, one in 10 has felt unfairly treated due to their gender and one in 20 has suffered an unwanted sexual advance, it added.