Employment Law – Bullying in The Workplace

I found this article relating to Employment Law which I thought may be of interest. So here it is for you

Bullying at the workplace is generally a much more subtle activity then outright harassment which is usually a much more obvious and physical situation. Bullying can be hard to detect as individual incidents can seem to be quite minor to an observer. But, if viewed as part of the chain of events that they make up, then a clear pattern of damaging actions start to emerge. Those people that perpetrate these actions on a regular basis are considered to be bullies. Bullying is therefore more of a cumulative process and should be viewed as such. Examples of this kind of workplace bullying are; excessive demands made on an individual, unfair public criticism, unfair scheduling, closing the avenues of promotion or making regular false claims or allegations against an individual.

A workplace bully could just be caught up in a pattern of behaviour that they may not necessarily aware of, sometimes because perhaps no-one has yet brought it to their attention. Most normal people will actually leave their job rather then confront the issue head on, but this only compounds the problem. However, the bully could in fact be purposefully treating people this way to intimidate them or establish a relationship of dominance over them. If this is the case it will be likely that their will be several employees that will be experiencing similar behaviour. If this group of employees can bring the issue to their manager’s attention as a group, it will not only add weight to their accusations but will also make the whole ordeal less stressful.

There are a number of practical steps that an employee can take if they want to deal with a workplace bully. The first thing to do is begin to record and document any incidents that occur. These records should have the time and date but also the nature of the occurrence as well as any other employees that were witnesses. This will not only mean that the employee can provide a clearer picture of what has been happening to them, but will also place the burden of proof on the employee accused of bullying. Another important step is to be aware of the large body of law that deals with these issues. While there is not legislation that deals specifically with workplace bullying, most cases centre around the provisions found in the Sex Discrimination Act and the Race Relations Act. There is a whole range of other potentially relevant legislation but an employer would be particularly advised to investigate the Disability Discrimination Act, the Protection from Harassment Act, the Human Rights Act, the Employment Act and the Employment Rights Act.

If an Employer has a sustained campaign of bullying brought to their attention they should already have an internal procedure in place to deal with the issue. If the accused is found to have been guilty of workplace bullying they should face disciplinary procedures and maybe even dismissal. The key here is that workplace bullying is always wrong and it is the bully that should have to face the consequences of their actions.

 

I am a legal writer covering advice on topics of law, for further text and similar works visit employment law or contact a solicitor today.For more legal advice and information, and for free legal resources I suggest you visit lawontheweb.co.uk.
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