A firm’s equality and diversity training has been dismissed by the Employment Appeal Tribunal as stale and ineffective against preventing harassment. The case involved Allay (UK) Ltd and Mr S Gehlen, who was of Indian origin. Mr Gehlen had been dismissed due to his performance. Following his dismissal, he complained that a work colleague had
Bullying, Harassment & Stress
The average person spends over 90,000 hours at work in their lifetime and therefore it is important to feel comfortable, safe and supported in the workplace. Employers have a duty of care to all employees and this includes dealing with bullying, harassment and stress at work.
Talk to one of our friendly and experienced team on 01582 514000
According to the National Bullying Helpline, one in four employees have experienced bullying at work. Bullying can have a significant impact on your mental and physical health, as well as your confidence and performance at work.
There is no legal definition of bullying however ACAS describes it as: ‘Offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure…’
Some common examples of bullying in the workplace include:
- Unnecessary or unfounded criticism
- Spreading rumours about colleagues
- Deliberate exclusion
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Misuse of power or position
- Unfair treatment.
Often, bullying may be hard to recognise and can be very subtle. Even if you are unsure of whether the behaviour amounts to bullying, it is important to speak to someone about it, whether it be your manager, HR, your union representative or a member of our employment team.
Harassment is “unwanted conduct related to your age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual.”
Workplace harassment can also include sexual harassment which is a specific form of unlawful discrimination.
There are many employees who suffer from stress and anxiety because of the bullying and harassment they have sustained in the workplace. Employers have duties under the Health & Safety at Work Act which require them to protect the health, safety and welfare of its employees, failing which employees may be able to pursue claims for work-related stress.
How can we help?
Being bullied or harassed at work is not acceptable. We provide specialist advice and support to help stop unfair treatment at work. We can assist you with the different rights or recourse in dealing with bullying, harassment and workplace stress to include:
- lodging an internal grievance;
- negotiating a settlement to end your employment;
- submitting a claim to the employment tribunal if necessary.
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