Date: 1 September 2016

The facts about workplace bullying

Bullying

Bullying and harassment is defined as behaviour that makes someone feel intimidated or offended, this is known as workplace bullying when it is happening in your place of work. This could include spreading malicious rumours, unfair treatment, picking on someone, regularly undermining a competent worker or denying someone’s training or promotion opportunities. Join us as we run through the basics about workplace bullying, including what you need to know and what you don’t have to put up with.

  • Bullying isn’t against the law, but harassment is – any workplace bullying which relates to any of the protected characteristics including age, sex, disability, gender (including gender reassignment), marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation constitutes harassment and this is illegal
  • Workplace bullying doesn’t have to be face-to-face – it can happen in person, by letter, by email, by phone, online or through other people
  • How to deal with it – where possible always try to solve things informally first. For many though, the informal route isn’t an option, and if this is the case, you should make management, HR, or (if you’re part of one) your trade union aware that you believe harassment is going on, and they should take the necessary steps to get the issue resolved and support you through the process
  • Knowledge is power – look into your company’s policy on harassment so you know your rights
  • Protect yourself – keep a detailed record of any incident in case you need to take it further. This includes the date, times, place, who was involved, what happened and the names of any witnesses
  • Speak out – don’t suffer in silence, confide in a colleague, friend, family member and get the support you deserve
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