Bullying and harassment can be extremely damaging in the workplace; It is important Employers do all they can to prevent such behaviours.
Bullying is a type of unwanted behaviour which negatively impacts the victim leaving them feeling uncomfortable and often humiliated, offended or intimidated.
Bullying can take many forms, it can occur as a pattern of behaviour or as an isolated incident. It also can come from a variety of people, including people in positions of leadership. Similarly, bullying can occur in person, in writing or online communication.
Online bullying is often referred to as ‘cyber-bullying,’ it is becoming increasingly prominent due to the development of modern technology and it can be particularly damaging as it has no time restraints and people have access to their phones, messages and the internet constantly.
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.
Like bullying, harassment can also take many different forms and occur as a pattern of behaviour or as 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:
A member of our employment team will be able to help you draft new policies and documents, as well as review existing documents. We can also assist with responding to allegations of harassment and tribunal claims.
You can contact us on: [email protected] or 01635 508080.