The recession has seen a big increase of complaints of bullying and harassment at work.
Bullying and Harassment – what is the difference?
These terms are used on an interchangeable basis. From a legal perspective they are slightly different.
This is offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, often an abuse of power, intended to undermine and humiliate the victim.
Bullying can be:-
This is unwanted conduct which affects the dignity of men and women in the workplace.
It will be related to race, age, sex, disability, religion, sexual orientation, nationality or any other personal characteristic of the individual.
Bullying and Harassment can occur: –
Allegations of bullying and/or harassment hinge on whether the recipient views the actions or comments in question as demeaning or unacceptable – this is a subjective test.
In the workplace one should always think first how actions or comments will be received and interpreted by the individual concerned. A person should ask ‘‘does my conduct have the purpose or effect of being inappropriate with this particular individual?” ‘‘Will my conduct be unwelcome?”
Can assertive management be seen as Bullying and/or Harassment?
Managers should not be worried about managing their staff effectively. Assertive management or ‘tough love’ is not bullying and/or harassment as long, as it does not ‘cross the line’ and becomes offensive, intimidates or violates the dignity of the individual.
When may it ‘cross the line’?
How to avoid ‘crossing the line’
What should you do as an Employer?
If you suspect bullying and/or harassment is occurring in your business, crack down on it immediately.
For further advice, contact Neil Dwyer on 0191 232 8345 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
This article is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues. Please contact us to discuss how the contents of the article may affect you.