Project Launch – Bullying & Ostracism at the Workplace in Malta
THE PRESS CONFERENCE HELD ON THE 16 NOVEMBER 2021
bBrave launched its Bullying & Ostracism at the Workplace in Malta project at a Press Conference held at the Valletta Design Cluster.
bBrave is also currently celebrating Malta’s national Anti-Bullying Week 2021 with the theme One Kind Word.
The Press Conference was opened by bBrave’s President Ms. Greta Antignolo, who explained that the project was the first of its kind and was made possible thanks to EU support under the European Social Fund, the support of the Planning and Priorities Coordination Division and the collaboration of Servizzi Ewropej f’Malta (SEM). She added that “At least twelve stakeholders are collaborating on the project, many of them national entities that each day have a significant impact on Maltese society.”
Dr. Aaron Zammit Apap, bBrave’s Founder & Secretary General, outlined the project, explaining that a study would be held to identify the Maltese reality of bullying at the workplace, and based on the findings, bBrave would put together a toolkit for employers to implement at various places of work. Moreover, an awareness campaign would be designed to tackle those findings which were of particular significance.
Ms. Leanne Bartolo, fitness professional and wellbeing motivator & bBrave’s Ambassador expressed that bullying had far-reaching effects and extended from the classroom to the workplace. This behaviour had alarming mental health repercussions and was not to be overlooked.
The event was then addressed by Dr. Clifton Grima, Parliamentary Secretary for Sports, Recreation and Voluntary Organisations, who applauded this initiative which was intended on shedding light on what workers experienced at their place of work. Dr. Grima explained that with greater awareness on the dangers of bullying, more people would speak out when faced with similar circumstances.
Dr. Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds announced that the project would cost €98,000, 80% of which would be financed by the European Social Fund. He expressed that this initiative would give a ray of hope to persons suffering from bullying at the workplace.
Carmelo Abela, Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister, closed the Conference and held that bullying first and foremost has a negative effect on the person experiencing it, but also on the person displaying bullying behaviour. But bullying also has a negative effect on the work environment, which needs to be strong and serene for all workers. Bullying can even lead to the reduction of productivity. With reference to the project which would be carried out by bBrave, Minister Abela stated that the laws on employment and industrial relations already protected those suffering from harassment.
It was now due to further strengthen this aspect, and this project should also be discussed with social partners at a national level, with a view to improve working conditions for employees in Malta. In conclusion, Minister Abela thanked the organisation, as well as SEM, wishing success for this initiative, which was raising awareness on the sensitive subject of bullying at the workplace.
bBrave is a voluntary, independent, and non-governmental organisation, registered with the Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations (VO 1422), and a Core Member of the international Anti-Bullying Alliance. As the first anti-bullying NGO in Malta, thanks to its members and sponsors, it works on educating more about bullying behaviour and its effects. bBrave operates on a fully voluntary basis. It also assists individuals suffering from bullying in connecting them with the right support system.