Bullying and harassment at work are a real issue !!


Below you can see two of our team role-playing an incident involving bullying and harassment at work. Where Bella is not letting Enzo play with the role and becoming quite aggressive towards.

Bella & Enzo two of the Starfish People HR team

Please note this was only a role-play and no staff were actually harassed or bullied during the filming.

However, the issue of bullying and harassment at work is a serious matter. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development published a study showing that 13% of employees reported having experienced bullying or harassment at work in the previous 12 months. Yet many managers assume that the problem does not exist within their department, often because no one has complained. A belief or assumption that bullying and harassment do not happen is probably the biggest barrier to tackling the problem.

Many employees may be reluctant to report instances of bullying or harassment out of fear of damaging working relationships with their colleagues, fear of reprisals, embarrassment or worry that they may be perceived as troublemakers. It is important for you, as a line manager, to bear in mind that just because no one has complained this does not mean that no bullying or harassment is taking place.

So what is bullying?

Bullying at work is behaviour that is:

  • threatening, aggressive or intimidating;
  • abusive, insulting, or offensive;
  • cruel or vindictive; or
  • humiliating, degrading, or demeaning.

Bullying will inevitably erode the victim’s confidence and self-esteem. It normally relates to negative behaviours that are repeated and persistent, and deliberately targeted at a particular individual.

Bullying is often an abuse of power, position or knowledge, and maybe perpetrated by the victim’s manager, their peers, or even by subordinates.

You should never use bullying strategies or tactics to make life miserable for an underperforming or otherwise unsuitable employee to induce them to leave. Such behaviour is likely to be viewed as a breach of the implied term of trust and confidence entitling the employee to claim constructive dismissal. You should instead deploy proper performance management processes or disciplinary procedures to deal with performance and conduct issues in the workplace.

For further guidance on this important issue and more importantly how best to handle the situation. Feel free to contact us by completing our secure contact form

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Alternatively, call us direct on 01243 – 607357 or email [email protected]

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