Campaigners are preparing to lobby the federal Government to push for nationwide laws to prevent bullying by bosses and work colleagues, following the passage of "Brodie's law" in Victoria.

The new Victorian legislation is named after 19-year-old Brodie Panlock, who killed herself after "relentless" bullying and cruelty at a Melbourne cafe.

Under the law, workplace bullying becomes a crime carrying penalties of up to 10 years' jail, and includes the right for victims to seek intervention orders from the courts.

The law, enacted as amendments to stalking provisions of the Crimes Act, covers all forms of workplace bullying, including threats, abusive language and performing offensive acts.

Victorian MPs this week passed the law - the first of its kind in Australia - following powerful and emotive demands in the wake of the convictions of Brodie's tormentors.

Cafe owner Marc Da Cruz, his company, and co-workers Nicholas Smallwood, Rhys MacAlpine, and Gabriel Toomey were fined a total of A$335,000 ($436,700) under workplace legislation.

But public outrage moved the State Government to introduce the far tougher laws, which Brodie's parents, Rae and Damian Panlock, said they wanted adopted nationally.

The couple told reporters after the passage of the legislation they were talking to federal MPs, with substantial support already backing the proposal.

The Victorian Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry has also said it wants a federal approach that would provide a consistent approach to far harsher penalties for workplace bullies.

Brodie's law was passed as the parents of Victorian 17-year-old Allem Halkic were awarded compensation for the death of their son, who killed himself after cyberbullying - also included in Brodie's law.

A new State Services Authority report on trends in public sector bullying between 2004 and 2010 also said that little had changed over the period, with one in five workers experiencing bullying in their workplaces, and one in three witnessing it.

Brodie Panlock's appalling death was the catalyst for action.

She worked as a waitress at the former Cafe Vamp in Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn, where she had been involved in an intimate relationship with Smallwood.

In what Magistrate Peter Lauritsen described as "persistent and vicious behaviour", Smallwood and his co-workers had abused Brodie, calling her fat and ugly, spat on her and excluded her.

In one incident Smallwood and MacAlpine poured fish oil into Ms Panlock's kitbag and then poured it over her hair and clothes. In another she was doused in beer.

When she was rejected by Smallwood she tried to kill herself by mixing rat poison in beer: when that failed Smallwood had put more poison in her bag and urged her to try again, joined by the others.

A former barista at the cafe, Meghan Chester, told a coroner's hearing in a statement that Brodie had been stripped of any sense of beauty or worth. Damian Panlock said in a victim's statement that he had been devastated by his inability to protect his daughter.

In September 2006 Brodie jumped to her death.

This week, after the law named in her memory was passed, Brodie's parents said that while nothing could bring back their child, the new law would send a strong message to bullies.

"Any loss is disgusting and these people that we have gone through and seen in court and faced are just scum," Damian Panlock said.

"They're just low, low, low. Why do they do it? Why did they do it? We lost our daughter, people lose their children.

"It's not just the person that they do it to - which is the worst thing - it's the families, the whole gamut."

Rae Panlock said the clear message was that bullying was a cowardly act that would not be tolerated, and that bullies could go to jail. "I just hope no family ever has to go through anything like this again," she said.

During the final debate MPs described Brodie's treatment as "relentless, cruel and dark punishment" and that Parliament needs to make "crystal clear" to potential bullies, employers and employees the consequences of that behaviour.

"I should say I do not believe any act of Parliament or any change to the law can ever compensate for the loss of a loved one, but I think all of us can feel some small satisfaction if the (new law) helps to ensure that potential victims in the future are not subjected to the relentless campaign of bullying that Brodie Panlock was subjected to," Employment Minister Richard Dalla-Riva said.

"This is about strengthening the ability of the Victorian Police, the Government and the courts to deal with bullying and to ensure that those individuals who take it upon themselves to make other people's lives a misery ... can be dealt with by the full force of the law."