Objectives: To determine the prevalence of reported workplace bullying among a group of white-collar workers, to evaluate the association between reported bullying and its effect on health and to assess the effects of support at work for bullied workers. Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire survey among full-time government employees in the health, education and security sectors. Bullying was assessed using a 20-item inventory. The potential effects of reported bullying were assessed using the Job Induced Stress Scale, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Job Satisfaction Scale and the Propensity to Leave Scale. Results: The response rate was 79% (944/1200) and 877 questionnaires were analysed after exclusion of non-complete data. Of respondents, 55% (483) reported experiencing one or more types of bullying in the previous year and 47% (416) had witnessed the bullying of others. The bully was most likely to be a superior. Sixty per cent of victims had tried to take action against bullying, but most were dissatisfied with the outcome. There were significant differences in anxiety, depression, job-induced stress and support at work scores between those reporting bullying and those not reporting bullying at work. Those who reported bullying with low support at work had the poorest scores on the mental health scales. Conclusions: Bullying is a serious problem in this group of workers and may lead to health consequences. Feeling that the work environment is supportive appears to have a protective effect in terms of the health outcomes. © 2006 Oxford University Press.