If you are an employee, you should never have to put up with bullying or harassment at work. It can understandably make your life miserable and your employer should take steps to stop it immediately they become aware of it.
At Springhouse Solicitors we understand how unpleasant it is to be a victim of bullying or harassment. Our team are friendly and approachable and we will support and represent you to ensure that the situation is fully addressed.
We deal exclusively with employment law, meaning we are experts across the sector and we have extensive experience in representing employees in claims against their employer where bullying and harassment have occurred.
What is considered bullying and harassment at work?
Bullying is usually referred to as behaviour that is offensive, intimidating, malicious, insulting or humiliating or an abuse of authority that undermines someone.
Examples include being excluded from meetings, emails or office gatherings, being given an unwarranted poor appraisal, being made to feel your job is not secure, being overloaded with work or not receiving promotions that you deserve.
Harassment is defined in the Equality Act 2010 as unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic and which violates someone’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. The protected characteristics referred to include age, race, gender, disability, religion, sex, sexual orientation and gender reassignment.
Harassment includes behaviour such as mocking someone about a disability, jokes, comments or banter based on a protected characteristic or the display of imagery that makes you feel uncomfortable.
How to stop bullying and harassment in the workplace
Initially, you should try and speak to those involved and explain how their behaviour is affecting you. If this does not help, then you can raise the issue with your employer, who has a duty to protect you.
While the bullying or harassment continues, you should keep a record of exactly what is happening including the dates and time, any evidence you have, such as emails, and a note of anyone who witnessed it. If the issue has affected you medically, you should keep details of any notes or treatment you have received from your doctor.
If your employer does not address it after you have raised it informally, then you can raise a formal grievance. You should follow your employer’s set procedure for this, which will usually be contained in your employment contract or in the employee handbook.
If the problem is still not resolved, you should seek legal advice about taking the matter further. If you ask us to represent you, we will put a robust case together on your behalf with a view to taking a harassment claim to an employment tribunal.
It is often possible to negotiate a settlement once this point has been reached, as your employer may not want to have to deal with legal proceedings. Our employment team are skilled negotiators and we will push to obtain the best possible outcome for you.
What is a bullying and harassment policy?
Your employer may have a bullying and harassment policy in place which will set out how employees are expected to behave, what you should do if you see or experience wrongful behaviour, how everyone should work to create a respectful work environment and how any issues should be raised and dealt with.
This may be included in your employee handbook, if there is one. If your employer does not have a policy in place, this is something that you can request from them when raising the issue of bullying or harassment. By putting a policy in place, they will be able to demonstrate that they are serious about addressing this type of behaviour.
Dealing with bullying and harassment
If you are experiencing bullying or harassment at work and you would like to speak to someone about your options, please call us today. We will assess your claim and help you form the most appropriate plan of action.
Our expert employment lawyers will advise on whether you have a case for unfair or constructive dismissal, harassment or discrimination. We will be there for you every step of the way.
Expertise for employees
Your rights during employment
- Bullying and harassment
- Disciplinary issues
- Family rights and flexible working
- Working time and holidays