Bullying complaints could swamp the Fair Work Commission when it begins hearing cases next month because the Gillard government did not put in adequate methods to filter out dubious or unsuitable claims, a leading workplace academic says.
And a corporate law firm has warned businesses they need to take steps to ensure they do not become the ''poster child'' for the new bullying jurisdiction.

From the new year, employees who believe they are the victim of ''repeated unreasonable behaviour'' by a co-worker can, on payment of a $65.50 application fee, ask the Fair Work Commission to make an order for the bullying to stop.
The commission, which must start dealing with all cases within a fortnight once an application is received, cannot order any compensation be paid by an employer; it can only direct bullying to stop if there is a risk it will continue.

Fair Work Commission president Iain Ross said recently it was difficult to predict how many anti-bullying applications would be made from next month ''but we expect it to be significant''.
The commission has predicted about 3500 bullying claims could be made next year.
The new laws, put in place earlier this year by then workplace relations minister Bill Shorten, make it clear that ''reasonable'' management action and performance management are not bullying.

Employer groups are concerned the new laws will lead to a rush of complaints.
FCB Group, workplace relations lawyers and advisors, recently polled its clients over the new laws. Managing partner Campbell Fisher said that while almost all businesses had existing policies and procedures in place to prevent bullying, only half undertook regular training to reinforce anti-bullying practices.
Mr Fisher warned companies to take steps ''to avoid being made the poster child for the new jurisdiction if a claim happens to be made early in 2014''.

University of Adelaide workplace expert Andrew Stewart said the impact of the commission's new bullying powers was unpredictable. While some bullying cases ''fell through the cracks'' of existing laws on workplace discrimination or harassment, there was ''the potential for the commission to be swamped by matters that aren't really about bullying at all,'' Professor Stewart said.
And ultimately the commission did not have statutory powers to direct applicants elsewhere, he said. ''They will be required to make a ruling if applicants are sufficiently persistent.''

The Abbott government's industrial relations policy, released before the election, supported the new bullying laws - so long as a worker had first tried to seek help from ''an independent regulator'' before going to the Fair Work Commission.
Accepted claims for mental stress in the workplace - about half of which relate to bullying - peaked in 2004, reaching about 8000 across Australia. Since then, they have hovered around 6000 proved claims each year.
Until now, these claims could be made only via a state workplace safety regulator.
ACTU assistant secretary Michael Borowick said unions had fought for more than a decade for laws on bullying to be put in place.