Definition of the term

There is no standard definition of the term. Key characteristics of a situation of bullying are:

  • Systematic and targeted marginalisation through words, gestures or refusal of communication,
  • taking place repeatedly over a longer period of time,
  • in a situation in which one person is less powerful than the other.

For example: isolating or marginalising someone, defamation, withholding information, refusing to support someone, permanent control, restriction of competences, allegations of misconduct, ridicule.


If you or other persons in your environment might be affected by bullying:

  • Address conflicts and issues if you fear that they could lead to a situation of bullying.
  • Offer to help the person affected.
  • Get help or counselling.
  • As a superior, ensure a good working atmosphere and seek talks in case of situations of bullying.


Legal basis

Despite the fact that bullying is not precisely defined, people affected by bullying are not defenseless:

  • Bullying is forbidden in government service (2nd amendment to the public service law, 2009)
  • B-GlBG, BEinstG
  • regulations can also be found in general civil law, labor law and criminal law (duty of care, duty of loyalty).


Other counselling units at the University of Vienna

Of course, you can also contact the other counselling units of the University of Vienna.