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How do I deal with issues of Harassment or Bullying in our workplace?

41% of workers in a survey recently said that they had been bullied in their workplace.

Despite this, commonly employers will not believe that this sort of behaviour is happening in their workplace. You are likely to have anti-bullying policies and may feel this is enough, but do not assume that everyone complies.

Doing nothing isn’t an option. Ignoring bullying and harassment does not make it go away, it may give a signal that it is part of the company ethos and you may find you acquire a reputation as a bad employer that affects your ability to recruit and retain key workers.

As an employer you have a duty of care to look after the health and safety of employees, including from psychological dangers. You may be held liable for their conduct of your staff, even if you have a good policy and are otherwise blameless.

Review whether your culture and processes encourages staff to speak to a manager, or to HR, if they have concerns. The mechanisms available may include your grievance procedure and a helpline of some kind, as well as training.

From a risk point of view, be particularly alive to any allegations of bullying, harassment (or victimisation) that might relate to a ‘protected characteristic’ in discrimination law (such as race, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion/belief). Significant claims can arise – so seek advice at an early stage to give yourself the best opportunity of a satisfactory resolution.

Do also watch our video:

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