Bullying and Harassment

What is Bullying or Harassment

If you genuinely feel you are being singled out or unfairly treatment by a boss or colleague, you are probably encountering some form of bullying. Although there is no comprehensive list of the types of bullying people may encounter, the list below should give you an idea of some behaviour which constitutes as workplace bullying.

Bullying behaviour can include:

  • competent staff being constantly criticised, having responsibilities removed or being given trivial tasks to do
  • shouting at staff
  • Being singled out or targeted by another member of staff
  • persistently picking on people in front of others or in private
  • blocking promotion
  • regularly and deliberately ignoring or excluding individuals from work activities
  • setting a person up to fail by overloading them with work or setting impossible deadlines
  • consistently attacking a member of staff in terms of their professional or personal standing
  • regularly making the same person the butt of jokes

Cost of bullying

The effects of bullying in the workplace can be very costly to an employer, bullying or harassment is recognised as a major cause of stress and needs to be dealt with in the same way an as any other health and safety issues.  some of the ways it can affect an employer are;

  • loss in time – because staff are affected by stress and ill-health
  • loss of incentive – because morale is low
  • reduced work output and quality of service
  • lost resources – because people who are trained, and experienced, leave the organisation
  • Financial impact – if it goes to Employment Tribunal or to court they also face financial penalties and loss of reputation

Most importantly, employers who fail to tackle bullying are breaking the law under the Equality Act 2010. That’s why it is in everyone’s interest to take workplace bullying seriously.


What to do if you are being bullied or see someone being bullied

If you are experiencing or have witnessed bullying or harassment in the workplace, you could see if you are able to settle this with the person or persons.  If you are not able to, or do not feel confident enough to approach them you can speak to your line manager or union representative and they will be able to support and assist you in resolving the situation.

There are also a range of resources and links to help you;


Equality Act 2010

ACAS Bullying and Harassment at Work


A Handbook on prevention and addressing workplace bullying and harassment

Hear from leading workplace experts about the issue of bullying in 2016  – Workplace_trends_of_2016


ACAS Helpline – 0300 123 1100 / www.acas.org.uk/


Bullying UK

Citizens Advice

Work Safe BC





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