What is a workplace bully and how to handle them

In our inter-connected, 24-7 era it’s often healthy that debates are being aired about difficult topics, be it in newspapers, magazines, social media or on one of the multitude of TV and radio channels now at our disposal.

One of these subjects, is the problem of bullying. As employment experts in Staines, it is a subject that we encounter as part of our everyday work.

However, now, in this much more transparent era, whilst the debate is much more open, there are still so many grey areas.

After all, there are workplace disagreements, personality clashes etc., so what is the best way to determine what is bullying?

Well, it is certainly subjective to some degree. However, it can be seen as everything from bosses unfairly dismissing employees via email to managers making decisions without following proper procedure.

Issues such as stopping promotion, deliberately ignoring or excluding individuals from work activities, or overloading someone with work that is impossible to do, or setting impossible deadlines, so that a person will fail. These are all red flags.

To add to this, persistently attacking a member of staff in terms of their professional or personal standing, or making them the butt of jokes is also out of bounds.

It is very much a loaded topic and you really need to take a step back, take some deep breaths and take stock before taking action.

A survey by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) claims that nearly a third of people have been bullied at work.

The general consensus amongst employment experts, like ourselves are, that if your health is suffering, or if you are a bystander watching something that appears to be bullying, you should take it on board and discuss it.

After all, bullying can mean ill-health far beyond sleepless nights.

It is the case that employers have a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees.

The TUC has published sound official guidance, which includes talking to someone to get support, and also keeping a diary of bullying incidences, as this will constitute evidence and help your employer investigate.

It is good for all of us that the workplace is somewhere where people can try to get along and respect each other.  After all, a difficult environment is of no benefit to anyone.

If you would like discuss your own personal situation, then please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help.

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