Bullying and harassment can be extremely damaging in the workplace; it is important employers do all they can to prevent such behaviours.
Harassment is a type of bullying which relates to a protected characteristic.
The Equality Act 2010 (s26) outlines three types of unwanted conduct which can constitute harassment:
The harassment must also violate the targeted individual’s dignity or be responsible for creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them, in their opinion.
Harassment can also take many different forms and occur as a pattern of behaviour or as a one-off incident.
Events that constitute bullying and harassment could include:
Employers have a duty of care towards their employees’ and liability for harassment claims can lead to costly compensation awards and reputational damage, as well as being very damaging for the workplace and individuals. It is therefore vital that employers do all they reasonably can to prevent bullying and harassment in the workplace. In particular:
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