Bullying and harassment is unwanted behaviour that makes an individual feel degraded, offended, intimidated or humiliated. It is not always obvious that an individual is being bullied and can happen without an employer being aware.
It can involve two or more individuals may even involve groups of people making the individual involved feeling isolated as this maybe persistence harassment. It can be done in different forms for example via written communication ie letter though the post or email, over the phone and to face to face.
Examples could include:
- Being treated unfairly
- Victimisation and being excluded
- Deliberately and constantly being critising an individual
- Spreading nasty rumours or insulting someone
The Equality Act 2010 states that it is unlawful to harass someone on the grounds of race, religious belief, sexual orientation, disability, gender or gender reassignment and age.
Sometimes people do not feel confident to be able to complain they don’t know who they can trust especially if it is their line manager or one of the senior managers, sometimes employees will just resign as they think that is their only option they have, it is very important that employers make sure employees are aware of the options that are available to them, trying all throughout the process they remain as confident as they can.
If I am being bullied what can I do?
If you are a being bullied, you should take immediate action. It is always best to resolve this informally and sometimes a quick word can resolve the issue. However if this does not work there are a number of options for you to consider:
1. Try to find someone you are comfortable with and speak to them.
2. Talk to a trade union representative
3. Keeps a written documentation of all the incidents making sure you include date, times and witnesses?
4. Keep a copy of all any letters, emails and text messages.
As an employer why should I take action against the bullying?
Bullying makes the employees extremely unhappy:
1. Lower morale and producers poor working relations
2. Creates poor performance and even loss in productivity
3. Makes employees resign
4. Very high absence
5. Loss of respect any managers and supervisors
6. Payouts in the Tribunal court and the payment can be unlimited
As an employer what action can I take to prevent bullying from happening?
There are a number of considerations you can take to prevent this sort of behaviour:
1. Develop a formal policy this can be kept simple sometime is a good idea to include staff members when writing it.
2. Make sure all the employers and senior managers set a good example this is as good as a formal policy
3. Have a procedure in place to deal with complaints promptly, efficiently and fairly
4. Make sure you have standard of behavior, this should be included in your company handbook.