6 January 2020 posted by Kelly Brown

Imagine this. You are sitting in a meeting with all your colleagues. A colleague stands and calls you a “simpering sycophant” and a “parasite”.

The oxford dictionary defines a ‘sycophant’ as ‘a person who acts obsequiously toward someone important in order to gain advantage’. More interesting are the synonyms:- yes-man, bootlicker, brown-noser, toady, lickspittle, flatterer, flunky, lackey, spaniel, doormat, stooge, cringer, suck, suck-up. Seems inappropriate for the workplace….

A ‘parasite’ is defined as ‘an organism that lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host’s expense’. Again, seems inappropriate for the workplace….

Meanwhile, your other colleagues are raucous and openly laughing at the comments being made. How would you feel? Would your employer tolerate this behaviour? Could Barnaby Joyce be having any more fun?

Is this acceptable?

My experience in the Australian Workers Compensation schemes would consider this ‘unreasonable’ and would accept a workers compensation claim of this nature if there was satisfactory evidence that a psychological injury had occurred.

Both major Australian Political parties have demonstrated this type of behaviour. What example does it set it the 1000’s of employers and employees watching this nonsense? It makes it very difficult for organisations to set a higher standard of behaviour to ensure that they meet the legislation created by this group. It seems hypocritical for the federal parliament to set laws that prohibit this type of behaviour and yet they display the very behaviour their laws are meant to prevent.

I think that it is time that we expected a higher standard of behaviour from our elected representatives. If you agree, drop them a line to let them know how you feel:-



For those employers that want to create a psychologically safe workplace, check out the SlideShare below.

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Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at www.workcover.nsw.au