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What you should do if you are being bullied at work
  • Published:
    18 July
  • Area of Law:
    Employment, Firm news

What you should do if you are being bullied at work

Chris Kisby, employment and education partner at law firm, Shakespeare Martineau, said:

“Anyone who thinks they are being bullied or harassed at work should look to take steps to resolve matters informally, if they feel that they can. Simply letting the person responsible know that their behaviour or comments are unwelcome can sometimes be enough to nip it in the bud. The employee should also keep a record of their actions and any instances of bullying or harassment that might occur.

“If the unwanted behaviour doesn’t stop, or if the employee doesn’t feel able to speak to the perpetrator, the employee should report the matter to their line manager or someone in the HR team. Most employers have policies in place setting out the process an employee should follow if they want to raise a formal complaint. In some circumstances, if the bullying or harassment has certain characteristics – for example, if it is related to the employee’s race, age, gender, or their sexual or religious preferences – it could lead to legal action on the grounds of discrimination. Indeed, depending on what has happened and how the employer responds to the employee’s complaint, the employee may feel that they can no longer work in that environment. In those circumstances, they may also be able to resign and claim constructive dismissal.”

“Employers should take a zero-tolerance approach to bullying and harassment at work. They should make sure they have appropriate policies in place setting out the employer’s approach to such issues and what an employee should do if they feel that they are being bullied or harassed at work. Simply having the policies is not enough – employers need to ensure that staff are aware of these policies and are regularly reminded of them.”

"They are very professional, respond promptly, always discuss the monthly bill and have, so far, provided us with excellent advice in connection with employment issues. I have been very satisfied."

Andrew Argyle LLB, Practice Director, Potter Clarkson LLP