Bullying and Harassment
There is no UK legislation specifically to protect those who may be suffering, or have suffered, from bullying or harassment at work. However, this does not mean that employees are left without protection.
If the bullying and harassing behaviour, which can include any unwanted conduct or unwelcome behaviour, is due to an employee's race or sex, employment law protection is provided by the Equality Act 2010.
More general statutory protection is afforded by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, the Public Order Act 1986 and the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. For instance, an employer can be liable for the consequences of any harassment committed by an employee in the course of his employment in breach of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. However, seeking protection under these provisions would necessitate a claim in the Civil Courts rather than an Employment Tribunal.
It is also open to an employee suffering bullying at work to resign and present a claim for constructive unfair dismissal, provided that they are an employee (as opposed to a contract worker or self employed) and dependant on two year's continuous service (unless you have also been discriminated against, for example, on the grounds of your age, race, disability or sex).
There is an implied term in all employment contracts that employers shall provide 'reasonable support' to an employee to ensure that the employee can carry out the duties of his or her job without harassment and disruption by fellow workers. Thus, employees suffering from bullying at work may, in appropriate circumstances, be able to bring a claim for breach of contract or constructive dismissal against their employers.
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