Bullying is NEVER, EVER acceptable in any circumstances. What do you do if you are bullied at work?
Steps to consider if you are being bullied at work.
- Keep a diary of all incidents of bullying behaviour-email yourself so you have proof.
- Inform your employer if you believe there is a pattern of bullying emerging.
- Follow any discussion with a formal email-include the content of the discussions with your employer and proposed actions.
- If you don’t feel confident talking to your employer, take someone with you.
Steps to take if a colleague is bullied at work.
Employees need to look out for each other. Workers need to support any colleague being bullied. Please encourage your bullied colleague to raise the issue with the employer. Remember stamping out bullying helps everyone
Judy started her new role as a social media content provider for a learning difficulty charity. At her first meeting with Tania, Tania belittled her in front of the whole office as a joke. Tania opened the window and shouted the joke to her ‘mates’ in the building car park. Judy was uncomfortable but was uncertain if it was bullying. Tania then sent an email in an abusive tone about Judy’s use of language online. Judy started to keep a diary. When Judy had to ask Tania a question, Tania would shout at her to ‘hurry up’ and get to the point in front of other staff. The CEO ignored Tania’s behaviour, but things came to a head when the CEO left in suspicious circumstances. The new CEO witnessed Tania’s shouting at Judy and asked Tania to apologise. Judy talked to her union and, based on their advice, raised the issue with the employer. It was dealt with promptly.
In this example, Judy suffered in silence until Tania was made to apologise. Until her old boss left, she wasn’t getting support from staff or management. She felt isolated and alone.
How long do you wait before you seek advice?
The most crucial point is the employee needs to seek advice or contact a lawyer if the bullying is repeated and they feel it is affecting their life.
What if I don’t trust my employer
- Seek advice from a senior manager, your union, a lawyer or advocate, or someone you trust
- Call MBIE on 0800 20 90 20, contact your local Community Law Office, or call us on 021 2423 200 for a free 20 chat.
Benefit of talking to someone
The benefit of talking to an independent person is they can help you put the situation into perspective. They often provide different solutions.
In Judy’s case, her employer put support in place for her and reminded all staff about their obligation under the companies bullying policy. Tania left the charity soon after.
Please don’t suffer in silence; you have several options available to you. Call us, and we can help advise what the most appropriate option is for you.
Resolve Legal Ltd blogs contain only general information about legal matters. It is not intended to be legal advice and should not be treated as, or relied on, as such. Don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer appropriate to your legal issue for legal advice specific to your facts.