Bullying in the workplace

Far from being confined to the playground, bullying is very much a feature of some people’s working lives as adults and can make the workplace a miserable and tense environment.

Workplace bullying isn’t in itself against the law unless it concerns an individual’s race or disability (or any of the other prescribed categories in the Equality Act). However if an employer is made aware of bullying and fails to act or, even worse, if management are themselves participating in bullying, this could underpin a constructive dismissal action.

In the work place, as with any walk of life, there will be those who don’t get on and the potential for bullying will exist. And, although employers aren’t expected to know everything that happens, they can cover their position with effective policies and handbooks. All employers should ensure there are appropriate guidelines in place that provide employees with a gauge of what is likely to be seen as offensive and therefore potentially actionable from a disciplinary perspective. Although it doesn’t need to go into detail, it is useful for employers to outline how staff are expected to express themselves within the bullying and harassment section of the company’s HR procedures.

Particular attention should be paid to drafting a comprehensive social media policy and ensuring that employees are aware of the implications of using social media as a platform for the bullying of colleagues.

Lawson-West’s dedicated Employment Law Team acts for both employees and employers. We have successfully pursued cases for discrimination and also constructive unfair dismissal actions related to a background of bullying and harassment. We are also able to draft HR policies and handbooks for Employers to help them deal with matters such as these. Our team therefore have a unique perspective on such situations and are able to provide advice that is both practical and tailored to the circumstances.

If you think you have been subjected to bullying at work or need advice on how to deal with bullying in your company, please phone  Vaishali Thakerar or Sejal Patel on 0116 212 1000 or complete the form on the right. Lawson-West offer free initial consultations so it won't cost you a penny to find out if you have a claim. We also run a number of free walk-in advice clinics at our offices in Leicester & Market Harborough.

Lawson-West will make sure that your claim is funded on the most appropriate basis and that will often be on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that Lawson-West have a vested interest in ensuring your employment claim is successful.

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