Bullying in the workplace is an area very close to my heart. In 2007 I became a victim of workplace bullying. For me everything went downhill I lost my job my confidence and much more.
The definition of bullying, as defined in the Equality Act 2010 is as follows:
“Unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity, or creating an intimidating hostile or degrading environment for the individual”
Bullying is a form of harassment or unwanted conduct it can be related to sexual orientation, race, or religion. The key factor is that the actions are viewed as demeaning and unacceptable to the recipient.
Bullying or harassment may be by an individual or by someone in authority, for example a manager or supervisor. It may be obvious or indirect it is unwarranted and unwelcome.
Examples of bullying behaviour may include the following.
- Spreading malicious rumours or insulting someone.
- Ridiculing or demeaning someone setting them up to fail.
- Exclusion or victimization.
- Overbearing supervision or other misuse of power or position
- Unwelcome sexual advances, e.g. touching.
- Making threats or deliberately undermining a competent worker by overloading and constant criticism.
- Preventing individuals progressing or blocking promotion and training opportunities.
Bullying does not have to be face to face it can be in written communications, e.g. E-mail, on the phone or in work supervision.
Bullying itself is not against the law, but harassment is.
What should employees do if they feel they are being bullied?
In the first instance they should try and talk to a manager or supervisor if it is them who is the bully, they should talk to their superior.
An employee can approach their HR department.
If this does not work they can make a formal complaint using their employer’s grievance procedure.
If this fails they may take their employer to an employment tribunal.
In England The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) offer lots of great advice They can be contacted on 0300 123 1100 or
Why do employers need to take action on bullying and harassment?
It is not only unacceptable on moral grounds but can cause serious problems for an organization. Employers should have an anti- bullying policy.
- 1 in 2 adults will be bullied at some point, the consequences on an organization may be as follows:
- Poor morale
- Loss of respect for a manager or supervisor
- Lost productivity or absence
- Damage to a company reputation.
Tribunals and payment of unlimited compensation.
Why do people bully their colleagues?
- They see themselves in a position of authority
- They see their colleague as a threat and may think they are better at their job
- They know they can get away with it.
These are just a few of the reasons.
It is important to keep a diary or log of any instances that occur this will help if you have to build a case and take legal action at a later date.
So if you feel you are a victim of bullying do take action as soon as possible so it can be stopped. Good luck xx.
Claudette is a passionate campaigner and activist for mental health stigma and domestic abuse. She believes that everyone should be treated equally regardless of their disability or gender. She has diagnoses of Bipolar Disorder, endometriosis, Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia. Claudette has a certificate in Management studies. Her interests include beauty, makeup, animals politics, current affairs and social networking.